One of the 11,000 confiscated guns held by Medellin police

‘We offered prices. US$2,500 for a dead policeman, and up to $250,000 for a general. Pablo Escobar gave the order to hand out the guns that were hidden in the comunas. We gave out mini-Uzis, mini-Atlantas, R-165 rifles, .556s, and Barreta pistols. They gave out more than 2,500 guns. Pablo Escobar always thought big.’

Popeye, Pablo’s hit man

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.