Haunting pictures of abandoned Caribbean villa reveal lavish
lifestyle of drug lord Pablo Escobar
PUBLISHED: 11:07, 24 July 2014 | UPDATED: 13:25, 24 July 2014
These haunting images show the faded glory of what was once a lavish holiday villa owned by drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.
The abandoned holiday home gives a glimpse into the lifestyle of the former head of the Medellin drug cartel in Colombia, who, at the height of his notoriety, struggled to find space to store all the money he was earning from trafficking narcotics.
Located on one of Colombia’s Rosario Islands, the area which was once the playground of the country’s most notorious drug barons, the opulent building has now fallen into disrepair.
Abandoned luxury: The huge mansion, situated on one of the Rosario Islands in Colombia, was commissioned by drug kingpin Pablo Escobar
Former glory: The villa was never finished, but was one of a series of properties that formed the playground of Colombia’s most powerful drug barons on the Rosario Islands
New inhabitants: The properties have been left to become overrun by nature as the Colombian government decides what should happen to the do with the islands
Making a splash: The colossal property features grand gardens, swimming pools and a building that almost resembles a palace
The haunting photos were taken by Belgian Stefaan Beernaert, revealing how the mansion has fallen into disrepair since the drug lord was shot dead by police on December 2, 1993.
At the time of his death, Escobar was raking in around $20billion (£11.7billion) a year and was even losing $1bn (£600million) because of rats gnawing through his cash.
On Rosario Islands, he bought a villa which was never finished and became the property of the state when he died.
On the tourist trail: Holidaymakers take boat trips out to the islands to snap photos of the notorious properties that were once the holiday homes of the country’s most powerful drug lords
Abandoned: The whitewashed property was one of the grandest on the islands, reflecting how Pablo Escobar was the country’s most successful drug baron, until his death in 1993
King of Cocaine: The eerie photographs taken by Belgian photographer Stefaan Beernaert give a glimpse into the opulent world that emerged from Colombia’s drug trade in the 1980s
Inside the world of illegal drug trafficking: Since the 1990s, Colombia’s drug trade has diminished, to be overtaken by America’s neighbour Mexico
Now the swimming pools, Escobar mansion and gardens have been left to nature and are part of the booming ‘Pablo Escobar tour’ industry which has sprung up in Colombia in the years following the shrinking of the deadly cartels.
Complete with its own nightclub, visitors can only try to imagine the glitz and glamour and the beautiful people who would have taken to the dance floor or discussed their nefarious drug trafficking schemes in a corner.
His pool, which was once inlaid with an elaborate mosaic pattern, now contains only dirty rainwater.
Pablo Escobar, seen right with his son Sebastian Marroquin, was worth nearly £12billion at the height of his notoriety
Dated: When the properties were built they were at the cutting edge of design, but have since been left to rot after being turned over to the Colombian government
Window into another world: It has not yet been decided what to do with the abandoned properties, but they remain as monuments to the excesses of the 1980s in Colombia
Inside the glamour: The villas reveal how the drug barons lived at a time when they were making more money than they could spend in their lifetimes
Caribbean charm: The isolated properties in the crystal clear seas were the perfect spots for Colombia’s rich and famous to get away from it all – although some houses are more rustic than others
However, one thing remains at Escobar’s mansion and that is the beautiful view out onto the shores of the Caribbean, which is now a summer holiday spot for the rich of Medellin, Colombia’s second city and former centre of the country’s booming drug trade.
Visitors are reminded by tour guides that the jet-skis and power boats they see now were once sea planes laden with drugs and money.
Tourists interested in Colombia’s drug history also flock to Escobar’s ranch Hacienda Napoles, located outside of Medellin, which used to house the kingpin’s personal zoo.
Originally Published at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2703990/Eerie-pictures-reveal-lavish-lifestyle-drug-kingpin-Pablo-Escobar.html