John Jairo Velásquez Vásquez, aka ‘Popeye’, the dreaded ex-head of gunmen of Pablo Escobar, who suffered from terminal esophageal cancer (state IV), died at dawn this Thursday after fighting the disease for months.
‘Popeye’, 54, was hospitalized at the National Cancer Institute, in the capital of the country, and underwent a gastrostomy (surgery that allows feeding him). In addition, it was known that he was receiving chemo and radiotherapy treatment at this specialized medical center.
The National Penitentiary and Prison Institute, INPEC, reported on the death of ‘Popeye’ and recalled that he had been hospitalized since December 31, 2019.
“Jhon Jairo Velásquez Vásquez was captured since May 25, 2018, syndicated for the crime of concert to commit crime and extortion,” said Inpec.
The other well-known hitmen of the Medellin cartel, in addition to ‘Popeye’, were ‘Pinina’, ‘El Chapo’ and Tyson. With this death, Pablo Escobar‘s last student leaves and, in addition, his closest man.
A few weeks ago, the country met some photographs that showed the hard effects of the disease on his body, something that generated great controversy in social networks.
‘JJ Productions’ was called the channel of the dreaded former hired assassins, who called himself a “human rights defender,” something that earned him criticism across the country given his criminal record.
‘Popeye’ spent 23 years in prison at the Cómbita jail. After recovering his freedom, in 2018 he was again arrested for charges related to extortion and concert to commit crimes. At that time, he was arrested with alias ‘Tom’, a man from ‘The Office’.
He confessed ‘Popeye’, at the time, that he had committed about 300 murders and, in addition, would have participated in another 3,000, committed by the Medellin cartel.
However, the two most devastating attacks for Colombians and in which ‘Popeye’ was involved were the bomb at the DAS headquarters in Bogotá and the attack on Avianca’s plane, which left 107 dead.