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"Mine brother Pablo": The secrets of Pablo Escobar
This book is about the notorious leader of the Colombian Drugs Cartel.
Pablo Escobar Gaviria and is written by Roberto Escobar
BOGOTA (Reuters) - Late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar used submarines and airliners to smuggle cocaine out of the country and built a village on wheels to hide an airstrip, according to excerpts published on Monday from a new book.
The book by Escobar's jailed brother, Roberto "El Osito (The Bear)" Escobar, details Pablo Escobar's alleged business ties with several leaders including former Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega and Peru's fugitive former Peruvian spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos.
Excerpts from "Mi hermano Pablo (My Brother Pablo)" -- which is a bestseller in Latin America -- were published in Semana, one of Colombia's top weekly news magazines.
Pablo Escobar, who amassed a fortune estimated at $3 billion (2 million pounds) as head of the Medellin cartel, died in a rooftop shootout with police in December 1993 in the northwestern Colombian city that gave his drug gang its name.
Roberto Escobar writes that his brother used airliners and two small remote-controlled submarines to move huge shipments of cocaine out of his Andean homeland.
He says that to smuggle large quantities of coca paste -- the raw material for cocaine -- into Colombia from neighbouring Peru, his brother built an airstrip alongside a clandestine drug laboratory in Colombia's eastern plains.
To ensure that it would not be detected from the air, the pioneering cocaine merchant built an entire village on top of the airfield, Escobar writes.
Buildings perched above the airstrip were constructed on wooden wheels and could be moved off it within three minutes whenever a drug-laden plane needed to take off or land, he says.
Repeating allegations already denied by Peruvian officials, Escobar alleges in the book that Montesinos channelled $1 million in drug money from his brother into former President Alberto Fujimori's first election campaign a decade ago.
When the allegations surfaced, Peru's justice minister dismissed them as "nonsense." Fujimori has since been fired as Peruvian president and is living in Japan.
Escobar alleges that his brother had a close working relationship with Noriega, who was ousted in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989 and is serving a 40-year jail term in the United States for drug trafficking.
"For Pablo and his friends Panama was a paradise without limits," Escobar claims, describing the country as a favourite playground of some Colombian mobsters.
(c) Quintero Editors y Roberto Escobar Gaviria