Michael Famighetti


    Crime may not pay, but for Pablo Escobar, the man synonymous with the Colombian cocaine trade in the 1980s, it certainly did. By 1979, two years after Eric Clapton released his hit cover of the song “Cocaine,” twenty-two million Americans were using the drug, a fourfold increase from five years earlier. Clubs in Miami—just a two-hour flight from Bogotá—and New York drove the demand that launched a billion-dollar industry. Although various cartels competed to satiate Americans’ newfound obsession with the glamorous white powder, Escobar emerged as the dominant supplier, controlling 80 percent