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The Sicario Effect is a new series from Exclave Media. Jhon Jairo Velasquez Vasquez alias “Popeye” was Pablo Escobar’s top lieutenant and The Medellin Cartel's chief sicario (assassin). He’s publicly admitted to having personally killed 300 people. In 2014, after 23 years in prison, Popeye was released. Rather than lay low and enjoy his new freedom, he took to the internet and became a social media star, “Popeye the Repentant”. And as we discovered, that’s just the beginning. This is a story ...
 
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Jhon Jairo Velasquez Vasquez alias "Popeye" was once the Medellin Cartel’s chief hitman and Pablo Escobar’s most trusted lieutenant. After 23 years in jail-he was released and became a social media star. Since interviewing him in November of 2017, we watched Popeye grab headlines and create controversy with his narrative. From parties raided by cop…
 
Happy New Year! We’re back! Popeye continues to make news. This time by tweeting his support to an ultra right-wing group in Spain. Any remaining speculation about his possible return to jail seems to have completely faded away. Following Popeye the last six months has proven one thing: The real currency in Colombia, is the narrative. And Popeye is…
 
April of 2018, five months after being detained in police raid that led to the capture of the alleged head of La Oficina De Envigado, Juan Carlos Mesa, public debate over wether Popeye should return to prison had disappeared.Regardless, his affiliation with La Oficina, gives us a glimpse into one of the most significant criminal groups in the world…
 
The most powerful thing Pablo Escobar did was leave behind a narrative. The young, enterprising Paisa smuggler, who became richer and more powerful than all of the elites in Colombia. It appeals to the masses, especially the disenfranchised. Unfortunately, the narrative often ignores the many innocent victims. The allure of Narcoculture has a numbe…
 
The Medellin Cartel's victims and their families exist more as statistics than real people. Narcoterrorism has touched the lives of everyone in Colombia. Behind the stories of the plotting and scheming, are the people who were at the wrong place and the wrong time, just living their lives. Mónica Gómez Villafañe is a successful banking executive in…
 
Bonus Episode: Because of the holiday, episode 14 will be out next Monday, Dec 3, 2018. In the meantime, please enjoy this "behind the scenes" bonus episode. A few days after Popeye was detained by police at a party for Colombia's most wanted man, Jonathan and his team discuss the breaking news and its many implications. www.TheSicarioEffect.com…
 
Esteban Orozco is an accomplished screenwriter and producer. Most recently he was a writer on the hit Netflix series, “El Chapo". From day one, Esteban provided us with insight into Medellin and it’s culture of crime. After returning to LA, Jonathan invited Esteban to sit down to discuss and help process the experience. Neither could have predicted…
 
Jhon Jairo Velasquez Vasquez was once Escobar’s chief assassin. He committed unspeakable acts of violence. Now after 23 years in prison, he’s out. For a lot of people this isn’t enough. But Popeye would disagree and say he served his debt to society. But he’s not your ordinary criminal. And Colombia isn’t a simple place. For more information, credi…
 
The Medellin Cartel was like a cult and Pablo Escobar, its leader, but by 1989 the façade of invincibility would crack. The hunt to capture Pablo was intensifying, and the barriers protecting him would soon begin to fall. After learning the cops were tracking his own men, Pablo shifts his strategy, instead of remaining shielded by sicarios, he orde…
 
By August of 1989, Luis Carlos Galan was the most popular politician in Colombia, overshadowing his rivals in the presidential election. He understood the nation's problems and offered hope for the future. Galan supported extradition and viewed narcotrafficking as a threat to the country’s stability. For Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Cartel, preve…
 
In January of 1988, over the course of eight days, Popeye directed and personally participated in a two-stage terrorist operation which included the kidnapping of then Bogota mayoral candidate, (and future President), Andres Pastrana, and the kidnapping of Colombia’s Inspector General, Carlos Mauro Hoyos. These brazen acts shocked the nation and th…
 
There is a phenomenon taking place in Medellin today; Narcotourism. Fueled by shows like "Narcos" and Popeye’s “Surviving Escobar”, tourists are flocking to Medellin to hear stories and visit landmarks. Troubled by the storyline of these narcotour's, an intrepid journalism professor seeks to change the narrative, by challenging his students to crea…
 
1976-Medellin, Colombia. While Popeye contemplates leaving Itagui to join the navy, miles away near the border of Peru, a determined young man is stopped and arrested while transporting 39 pounds of illegal coca paste. After unsuccessful attempts to bribe the judge, he tries a new approach: “Plata o Plomo”, “silver or lead”. Soon the paths of a gro…
 
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