Online Video NewsVideo TrendsPablo Escobar’s Favourite Hitman Popeye is a YouTube star!

John Jairo Velasquez was the most notorious hitman for the dead drug lord Pablo Escobar and admits to killing 300 people while ordering the deaths of 3,000 more. The 54-year-old from Colombia was released from a high-security prison two years ago after serving time for being part of the infamous Medellin Cartel, which left 600 police officers and thousands of civilians dead during drug wars.

But now John Jairo Velasquez, better known as Popeye, has become an unlikely star of YouTube. He is attempting to rebrand himself as a political activist and has started a YouTube channel, where he talks about his former life and how he is trying to re-integrate himself into society. The Spanish-language channel called Popeye Arrepentido (Remorseful Popeye), so far has almost 118,000 subscribers with one of his videos being viewed over a million times.

In his channel description, he writes: ‘I started this channel in order to tell the day to day process of reintegration into society. I have had the opportunity to be born again after 23 years and three months of the worst punishment a human being can afford.’

In this video, Popeye is talking about his experience of escaping prison with Pablo Escobar, the conditions that they had in order to manage their escape, and the situation that El Chapo Guzman is (biggest drug lord in the world). How he managed to escape his prison and what consequences El Chapo will apparently face in future.

His viewers often leave comments for him welcoming him back to society, offering their support, and questions for him to answer in his next video. “Hello, Popeye,” one wrote. “I love all of your statements because they are full of honesty and courage. Hugs.

Popeye on his YouTube channel’s overall goal:

“Our goal is to bring information about what was the late Medellín Cartel and to bring a fresh message to the youth and inform them of harmful drugs and the effects they cause people … I also want to fly the flag of anti-corruption.”

And in one video he even tries to beg for forgiveness from a relative of one of his victims. When one viewer asked: ‘When can the victims of the drug war of the Medellin cartel meet you – the ones who lost brothers or fathers in the police force?’ the former hitman said he found the question painful.

‘I’ve been famous for 30 years. I only want to have an opinion because I am an activist.

‘I am against the Venezuelan and Columbian government. I am against Donald Trump because of his hatred of Latinos. I just want my opinion heard.’

Well, almost the whole world is against Trump. Maybe the similar interest of hating Trump is what brings him so many subscribers. Donald Trump says he going to build a wall to keep Mexicans out and make them pay for the border wall. But who does he plan on getting to build it? Mexican builders? Right, as if.

Velasquez was given his 30-year sentence in a maximum security jail in Bogota for plotting the murder of a former presidential candidate. (Wishing he was plotting the murder of a current presidential candidate that he hates very much yet?)

00xp-escobar_web1-master768Popeye, right, with a tourist fan last year near the tomb of Pablo Escobar, in Medellín, Colombia.

The slaying of the cartel-fighting politician Luis Carlos Galan during the 1990 presidential campaign he was heavily favoured to win marked the apex of drug violence that engulfed Colombia two decades ago.

In a bid to fight extradition to the United States, Escobar ordered scores of assassinations – of judges, cabinet ministers and journalists.
The cartel waged a bombing campaign across Bogota, Medellin and Cali, with many of the explosive devices planted by Velasquez.

Escobar even downed an Avianca commercial jetliner in 1989, killing all 107 on board, because he believed Galan’s political heir, then-President Cesar Gaviria, was aboard. But the father of Gonzalo Rojas, who was a passenger on board the doomed flight has criticised Popeye’s newfound fame.

It is also reported Velasquez wants to sell to Hollywood the rights to an autobiography he wrote about his life alongside Escobar.

A college professor said:

“In a twisted way, we celebrate ‘successful’ criminals, even stone-cold killers in Hollywood movies, cable television shows and soap operas: ‘Scarface,’ ‘Blow,’ ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘The Sopranos,’ Netflix’sNarcos.’

Nearly a dozen “narconovelas” had aired on Spanish-language television and that there were many “narcocorridos,” or ballads, celebrating drug traffickers.”

He further added: “Of course, Velásquez’s fame is directly tied to his relationship with Pablo Escobar. The stories he can tell will keep him popular, but they might also get him killed.”

But Velásquez said he had a wife and son living in the United States, and he could take care of himself if anyone came after him.

tumblr_nw4kq8zIT21roqv59o1_500This was his PRISON. Then what was his House like?!

But even while expressing regret about his crimes, he has continued to demonstrate admiration for his former boss.

‘If Pablo Escobar were to be reborn I’d go with him without thinking,’ he told a newspaper in 2012.

In a video, Popeye recalled where he was in 1993 when the authorities killed Pablo Escobar, the ruthless cocaine trafficker who ran the Medellín cartel. When one viewer wanted to know what Pablo had written in his notepads, Popeye said: “Those notepads were simply to write the names of the people who he wanted to kill. If he wrote your name in those notepads, you were a dead man.”tumblr_nyszgbZSoF1ufcx9vo1_500
In a video posted last October, he said he would always be an assassin. He boasted about his reputation on the streets, calling himself the living memory of the cartel. He said he would never speak ill of Pablo Escobar.

“For me, Escobar was a terrorist, a drug dealer, a kidnapper — but he was also my friend; he treated me with kindness and respect,” he said. “He was the kind of man that would look you in the eyes and do what he says. Everyone knows what he was, but with me he was good.”
“I loved Pablo. He never owed me money for any of my hits.”

Narcos is a really popular Netflix Original series. So here’s the trailer in case you missed it. Hopefully, this story and Popeye’s videos(if you speak Spanish) have urged you to binge watch Narcos. I know I will.

Kritika Bansal

Kritika is a sleep deprived Vidooly content writer based in New Delhi with an inexplicable weakness for pre-loved books, Tumblr, YouTube, TV shows, Pop music, and the sultry voice of Benedict Cumberbatch. Kritika is also currently on a road to become a creative.


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