Good books worth reading: Killing Pablo.

I recently listened to “Killing Pablo”by Mark Bowden (Author of Black Hawk Down) on audiobook off  iTunes, and enjoyed it greatly. The book gives a short potted bio of Pablo Escobar, and then concentrates on a detailed account of both the US and occasionally Columbian government’s attempts to capture and then (unofficially) kill the notorious druglord.

Whilst the story of the hunt is interesting (at one stage, the US had to fly an airborne air traffic control aircraft over Medellin, as they had 17 surveillance planes in the air) and the book also details the secret involvement of US Special Forces (Delta Force, who may have actually killed him in the end), what is particularly interesting is the effect Escobar had on politics, not only corrupting it to an obscene degree (He employed the guards in the purpose-built prison he was supposedly incarcerated in, and ended up an alternate member of congress) but the casual assassination of political candidates opposed to him reached a ridiculous degree. At one stage, he was actually carrying out a terrorist campaign to force the government to allow him to surrender, as he felt he could run his criminal empire better that way! 

The other fascinating aspect was the creation, with tacit US support, of a terrorist organisation dedicated to avenging his victims by attacking members of his family and organisation.

A very interesting insight into how a democracy can be brought to the edge. 

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