The Accountant's Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel
  • The Accountant's Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel
  • The Accountant's Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel

The Accountant's Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel

by David Fisher
     
 

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Arguably the largest and most successful criminal enterprise in history, at times the Medellin drug cartel was smuggling 15 tons of cocaine a day, worth more than half a billion dollars, into the United States. Roberto Escobar knows - he was the accountant who kept track of all the money.

How much money? According to Roberto, he and his brother's

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Overview

Arguably the largest and most successful criminal enterprise in history, at times the Medellin drug cartel was smuggling 15 tons of cocaine a day, worth more than half a billion dollars, into the United States. Roberto Escobar knows - he was the accountant who kept track of all the money.

How much money? According to Roberto, he and his brother's operation spent $1000a week just purchasing rubber bands to wrap the stacks of cash — and since they had more illegal money than they could deposit in the banks, they stored the bricks of cash in their warehouses, annually writing off 10% as "spoilage" when the rats crept in at night and nibbled on the hundred dollar bills.

At the height of this cartel's reach, in order to help them deliver their goods, the Escobars purchased thirteen 727 airliners from Eastern Airlines when that airline went bankrupt. They also purchased six Russian mini-submarines. Roberto knows - he did the books.

In short, this is Pablo Escobar's story in the words of one of his closest confidants, his brother Roberto. It's all here — the brutal violence inside the world of the drug cartel, dealing with American drug forces and the CIA, the problems the Escobars faced when going up against the Colombian mafia, even Pablo's moments of kindness and compassion towards less fortunate countrymen in Colombia. others. As Roberto points out, although many people view Escobar as a monster, thousands still visit his grave every year to mourn him, and revere him as a savior.

Now in his 60s, Roberto, who has served 10 years in Colombian jail for his part in the Medellin cartel, now wants to set the record straight, onceand for all.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Roberto Escobar provides an intimate portrait of his brother, Pablo Escobar, the infamous leader of the Medellin drug cartel. He makes a strenuous-if not entirely persuasive-effort to reveal his brother's more sensitive side and to argue that the Colombian and U.S. governments exaggerated the degree of Pablo's involvement in the cartel. The book's organization is spotty and the familial bias often frustrates-listeners will likely crave a more unvarnished biography-but Ruben Diaz provides an unimpeachable performance. With an authentic, never grating accent, he narrates so sincerely that the audience might believe they are listening to Roberto himself. A Grand Central hardcover. (Feb.)

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Kirkus Reviews
Pablo Escobar's brother and business partner recalls the Colombian drug lord's outsized life and death. Roberto tells Pablo's story with a cool reserve. He makes no excuses for his brother's crimes, but he wants readers to have a more rounded picture. In Roberto's view, Pablo was not all bad. He was loyal, he was a family man and he had a streak of generosity to match his violence. Growing up poor, he soon discovered a knack for smuggling. The contraband was cigarettes at first, but he was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the cocaine boom, much of it fueled by U.S. users. It was purely a business decision, made without remorse: Cocaine was easier to smuggle than washing machines (another of Pablo's specialties) and provided a much greater profit. The amounts of money involved were ludicrous; it was so difficult to find good hiding spots for tens of millions in cash that about ten percent was lost to water damage and rats. Pablo used submarines for his smuggling operations and had so many members of the army, police and state bureaucracy on his payroll that he rivaled the government as an employer. Yet the consequences of his trade were death and destruction, which rain down on almost every page of this memoir. Jaw-dropping events abound. Leftist guerrillas took over the Palace of Justice at Pablo's request to seize papers that threatened his extradition to the United States. He built his own prison with the government's assent and dispensed colossal sums to the impoverished and needy. "In Colombia," Roberto explains, "poor people have always tried to help each other." Pablo wasn't exactly underprivileged by the time he was dispensing alms, and the eerily detachedway he gave execution orders doesn't buttress his brother's case for his charitable side. Nonetheless, his life makes for a grim, ensnaring tale. The Robin Hood mantle draped over Pablo is a bit much, but his exploits will keep readers agog.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446178945
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
02/11/2010
Pages:
289
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Roberto Escobar resides in Colombia. Under the rules of his parole, he cannot leave the country.

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