Killing Pablo is the inside story of the brutal rise and violent fall of Colombian cocaine cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar, whose criminal empire held a nation of thirty million hostage--a reign of terror that would end only with his death. In an intense, up-close account, best-selling author and award-winning journalist Mark Bowden exposes the never-before-revealed details of how U.S. operatives covertly led the sixteen-month manhunt.
Drawing on unprecedented access to the soldiers, field agents, and officials involved in the chase, as well as hundreds of pages of top-secret documents and transcripts of Escobar's intercepted phone conversations, Bowden creates a gripping narrative that reads as if it were torn from the pages of a military technothriller. At every phase, he brings to life the men who brought the drug lord down. There is the Colombian president, Cesar Gaviria, afraid for his life and the future of his nation, who is forced to do the unthinkable: allow a foreign military to operate within his country's borders. There is the U.S. ambassador, Morris D. Busby, who brings in the most sophisticated surveillance team in the world, code-named Centra Spike, and the best team of manhunters, the mysterious Delta Force. And there is the leader of the Colombian forces, Colonel Hugo Martinez, an incorruptible man who lives under constant threat during the drug lord's reign-and whose own son plays a critical role on the fateful day when Pablo is finally found.
Bowden's book recounts the bloody rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, the godfather of the Medellin cocaine cartel who was assassinated by Colombian police in December 1993. A ruthless terrorist who kidnapped, tortured and murdered, this self-styled Pancho Villa was also an adored hero for Colombia's poora generous builder of schools and soccer fields, not to mention a concerned family man. For nearly two decades, even while he was confined in prison, Escobar's death squads ensured that nothing interfered with his empire. This only changed after his escape in 1992, when the Colombian police, embarrassed and fired by a new resolve, upped the ante. Aided by covert American intelligence, they secretly formed a death squad of their own to destroy Escobar's organization and terrorize his family. After fifteen months, they finally flushed the fugitive out of hiding. The author's book, about a vicious drug war and America's involvement in a high-tech, no-holds-barred manhunt, raises important questions about whether the end should justify the means.