The Colombian Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was the leader of one of the most powerful criminal organizations that has ever existed.

During the 1980s, controlled the drug trafficking business and was the cause of numerous deaths around the globe . He sowed terror and ordered hundreds of murders and, along the way, earned millions of dollars as a Medellín cartel. He went on to own mansions, airplanes, a private zoo and even his own army of criminals.

Pablo Escobar was, without a doubt, one of the most known and feared criminal personalities; partly because of the interest in his life, between 2009 and 2012, a series based on his life was broadcast, entitled “Pablo Escobar, el patrón del mal”.

But… what is the psychological profile of the so-called “King of Cocaine”? In this article we review the psychological characteristics of this character who died 20 years ago.

Biography of Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar was born on December 1, 1949 in Colombia . He grew up in a lower-middle class family in the suburb of Envigado, in the Colombian city of Medellín. As a young man, one could already see his great ambition, constantly repeating to those around him that he wanted to be the president of Colombia one day. Obviously, his dream was never fulfilled, but his aspirations make it clear that he had a great desire to excel. Something he did achieve, albeit illegally.

Escobar’s career as a criminal began on the streets, when he started stealing tombstones from cemeteries to sell the marble and earn a few pesos. He also smuggled tobacco and alcohol, and then brought coca paste from Bolivia and Peru through Ecuador, hiding the goods in truck tires. After refining it, he would transport it to the United States to sell it. There it would be consumed in the form of cocaine.

The leap to criminal power and his life as a politician

The leap to power in the criminal world of this notorious character happens in 1975, when he orders the murder of Fabio Restrepo , one of the great drug dealers of the time. Escobar takes power in the latter’s criminal organization, expanding its operations. Soon after, controls crime in Medellin and is responsible for 80% of the cocaine transported to the United States .

Despite the development of his illicit activities, he did not remain anonymous. Escobar took on the role of caretaker for the people, and financed improvement plans for the suburbs of Medellín. In this way, he redeveloped a neighborhood of 780 homes for the underprivileged, and won votes to become deputy mayor of the Medellín City Hall.

His obsession with being part of the political landscape and clearly benefiting drug trafficking, Escobar financed several parliamentary and presidential campaigns and tried to get involved in politics. He formed a political group called Civismo en Marcha , attached to the formation Nuevo Liberalismo . In 1982 he managed to enter Congress when he was elected as a substitute member of the Antioquian parliament. However, when the leader of the coalition New Liberalism , Luis Carlos Galán , heard about Escobar’s illegal activities, he decided to expel him.

“Silver or Lead”, a matter of life and death

Over the years, Escobar made enemies, and his cruelty became apparent on hundreds of occasions. His rise in the criminal world was not well seen by politicians, police officers or honest judges, who suffered in their own flesh from his evil. Escobar became known for his phrase “silver or lead”, which came to mean: “either you pay or you die” .

Generally, if a politician, policeman or judge crossed his path, he would first try to bribe him, and if that didn’t work, he would order his murder. The exact number of honest people who were victims of this perverse criminal is not known, but it passes the hundred, and there is even talk of thousands of people executed by Escobar’s entourage .

The End of Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar, who became one of Colombia’s most wanted drug traffickers by the United States, died on December 2, 1993 at the hands of Colombian security forces. The founder of the Medellin cartel, who was also known as “the boss,” “the boss,” “the tough guy,” and “the cocaine czar,” was killed during a “commando-style” operation deployed by military and police personnel when they located his hideout.

The psychological profile of this famous criminal figure

Pablo is known to many, as his popularity was such that his name crossed the barriers of his native Colombia.

Andrés Parra , the actor who played him in the series of his life, said in an interview to, that “few know the dimension of Pablo Escobar’s evil”. The actor explains to this website “that his character took away his sleep and that he consulted a psychologist to understand it”. But what was this character really like? What are the psychological keys to understanding his cruelty and desire for power?

The keys to your personality

According to a text from the Faculty of Psychology of the Universidad López Vallejo published in 2014, Pablo Escobar was a professional criminal, so he dedicated his life to illicit acts and, therefore, was a recidivist.

His personality was inclined towards a social egocentric profile , so his behaviour pattern was oriented towards ambition, arrogance or exhibitionism.

Related article: “Self-Centered Personality: 15 Characteristics”

That is why Pablo Escobar, like other drug traffickers, when he was captured and given the opportunity to appear in the media, showed himself to be serene and defiant and made a series of gestures that indicated to his followers that he was still at the bottom of the barrel. Such was Pablo Escobar’s eagerness to gain notoriety that he tried to appear as a business figure alongside politicians, according to the newspaper Hoy Digital.

In general, the results of the different investigations carried out on the personality profile of the drug traffickers, highlight that they usually show an affable appearance, social resentment, disloyalty, aggressive and violent behaviors, absence of guilt feelings, tendency to lie and manipulation, great desire for power, besides being vengeful and calculating people.

All these qualities are those that Pablo Escobar showed.In addition, the article published by Lopez Vallejo University qualifies him as an antisocial person. The cause of this type of behavior was the result of both exogenous and endogenous factors. Among the exogenous factors that caused his personality pattern were: poverty, truncated education, lifestyle in Colombia or the guerrilla. As endogenous factors, we can highlight his addiction to drugs or his desire for wealth and power .