Pablo and his wife arrive at Hacienda Napoles on his Learjet, 1982. Photographs from El Chino’s archives

‘From Napoles there were three or four flights a day and these flights were filled with coke. It was like an international airport. In the early days the favorite was called “La Rapida” [the quickone], which went out with coke and came back filled with money. The money was bigger than the drugs, that was a big problem.’

El Profe, Pablo’s fixer

While in Colombia researching an idea for a photographic project called Narcotecture, I found a bag of photographs on Pablo Escobar’s private prison. It set me on a journey for the next 3 years searching for visual material and meeting people who knew Pablo Escobar. Pablo Escobar was ‘the richest and most violent gangster in history’, the head of the Medellin Cartel, which was responsible for supplying 80 per cent of the world’s cocaine during the 1980s. In an attempt to avoid extradition to the USA, he declared war on the Colombian state and thousands died as a result. For this brief web version I have extended the visual intro to the book.