Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s feared hitman dies from stomach cancer

Escober Hitman

Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s former chief hitman Jhon Jairo ‘Popeye’ Velasquez has died of cancer today at the age of 57.

Jhon Jairo ‘Popeye’ Velasquez

Velasquez served a life sentence after admitting to killing 300 people and ordering the deaths of 3,000 more as he violently enforced Escobar’s legendary reign of terror.

The heartless assassin – who once described killing as ‘like a day at the office’ – was jailed in 1993 – the year Escobar was gunned down by police in his home town of Medellin – but was released in 2014.

Velasquez then went into hiding for several years fearing reprisals from his victim’s families and members of the Medellin Cartel he helped to convict in return for a lighter sentence. He was arrested again in May 2018 on suspicion of extortion and conspiracy and had been back behind bars since then.

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Drug Lord Pablo Escober
Drug Lord Pablo Escober

Colombia’s National Penitentiary and Prison Institute (INPEC) confirmed that Velasquez died in the early hours of the morning in the National Cancer Institute in the capital Bogota.

He had been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus which had spread to his lungs, liver and other organs and had been hospitalised since December 31.

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