Embed video
Escobar's Hitman

Former drug-gang killer, now loved and loathed in Colombia

John Jairo Velásquez Vásquez, a.k.a. ‘Popeye’ is something of a local hero to many in the Colombian city of Medellin. He’s stopped in the streets and asked for autographs and selfies. His celebrity is undiminished after spending 23 years in jail. 

John Jairo Velasquez, Popeye
In 2014, John Jairo Velasquez, better known as ‘Popeye’ was released from prison having spent more than two decades for drug trafficking, terrorism and murder. Now the former Escobar hitman lives a celebrity life writing books and appearing in TV series.

In the heyday of the infamous Medellin drug cartel, he worked for Pablo Escobar as a hit-man, he still says he enjoyed the job in which he tortured and murdered literally hundreds and so, not everyone sees him as a hero.