Medellin razes Pablo Escobar's home in symbol of rebirth

People look at the six-floor apartment building that former cartel boss Pablo Escobar once called home in Medellin Colombia Friday Feb. 22 2019. The white concrete building in Medellin's leafy Poblado neighborhood was gutted by a car bomb in 1988 and

People look at the six-floor apartment building that former cartel boss Pablo Escobar once called home in Medellin Colombia Friday Feb. 22 2019. The white concrete building in Medellin's leafy Poblado neighborhood was gutted by a car bomb in 1988 and

Pablo Escobar's fortified home - a brutalist eight-story concrete block in one of Medellin's plushest neighborhoods - was demolished on Friday as part of an effort to change the way the drug kingpin's story is told.

Duque made a flying visit to the demolition site before heading to Cucuta, on the border with Venezuela, to attend a concert organized by British billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson to raise money for humanitarian aid for Venezuelans.

Colombian President Ivan Duque, who was still a teenager when Escobar was killed in 1993 in a rooftop shootout with police, said the explosion "means that history is not going to be written in terms of the perpetrators but by recognizing the victims".

The city plans to build a park and memorial museum to replace the abandoned building, which took 3 seconds to destroy. City authorities had placed the Monaco building under police guard, and tourists had only been able to see it from the outside.

He was born in 1949 in Rionegro, Colombia, and lived in the Monaco building in Medellin for years until 1988 when rivals bombed it.

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What won't be torn down, though, are the 443 homes Escobar built for families living in a Medellin rubbish dump, an act that earned him the "Colombian Robin Hood" moniker.

Dozens of reporters were treated to canapes and a performance by the city's philharmonic orchestra as the mayor promoted a public relations campaign that seeks to draw attention away from the ongoing scourge of violence in Colombia's drug trafficking capital.

"Respect our pain, honor our victims (1983-1994)".

In a 2015 interview with DW, Escobar's son said his father was no hero. "The Monaco Building is a convenient focus - it's a show", journalist and scholar Juan Diego Restrepo told Colombia Reports on Thursday. At the end of January, a replica of the first plane that was used to smuggle a cargo of cocaine into the United States was removed from another of Escobar's former properties, Hacienda Napoles.

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