Jhon Jairo Velásquez Vásquez Biography – Wiki
Jhon Jairo Velásquez Vásquez also known by the alias “Popeye”, was a hitman who was part of the criminal structure of the Medellín Cartel until his surrender to the Colombian justice system in 1992. Within this structure he claimed to be a lieutenant commanding half of the sicarios.
— INPEC Colombia (@INPEC_Colombia) February 6, 2020
Jhon Jairo Velásquez Vásquez Age
He was 57 years old.
Early Life and Education
Velásquez was once in a relationship with Wendy Chavarriaga Gil, a former lover of his boss Pablo Escobar. They were lying in bed one day when the phone rang; on the other end was a recording of Wendy speaking with DEA agents. ‘Popeye’ was then given a choice: “love or death, money or lead (plata o plomo)”. Velásquez hung up the phone and shot Wendy fatally twice in the forehead, in a fit of rage.
In an interview, according to Popeye, Escobar was clear in his instructions, “you or her, do not hesitate a single second .plata o plomo, amor o muerte. I’m waiting” As his main sicario (hitman) and Escobar’s right hand man, “Popeye” performed the murder himself even though she was the woman he loved. Velásquez was loyal to Escobar until the King of Cocaine released him of his duties while on the run.
Velásquez attended University of North Barranquilla. He entered the School of NCOs of the Colombian Navy, and eventually transferring to the Police Cadet School General Santander, where he spent one semester. Later in life, while imprisoned, he also obtained 14 diplomas of various short courses.
Velásquez was identified as one of the most important hitmen of the Medellín cartel. He confessed to 257 personal killings, the kidnapping of then candidate for mayor of Bogotá, Andrés Pastrana Arango (who would later become President of the republic), the kidnapping of Francisco Santos (who would later become vice president), kidnapping and murder of Colombian politician Carlos Mauro Hoyos, complicity in the murder of the governor of Antioquia, Antonio Roldán Betancur, in a failed mission entrusted to Popeye and John Jairo Arias Tascón, alias “Pinina” to kill a police colonel, and the killing of politician and Presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento. He also admitted to arranging over 3000 killings. He helped plan the plane bombing that killed 110 people.
In May 2018 Velásquez was arrested on charges of extortion and criminal conspiracy. It is claimed he was blackmailing former associates of Pablo Escobar pantera who still control some of his assets.
Jhon Jairo Velásquez Vásquez Convictions
Since 1992, Velásquez served a prison sentence on charges of terrorism, drug trafficking, extortion, conspiracy for terrorist purposes and murder. However, despite the severity of his crimes, Colombia does not have capital punishment and the maximum sentence at the time of his conviction was thirty years.
During 2000 and 2001, Popeye was involved in armed clashes in La Modelo prison. In 2008, he was sentenced to twelve years for other judicial proceedings against him. On August 22, 2014 he received probation for having served three-fifths of his sentence. At age of 52, he was released on 26 August 2014 after 23 years and 3 months in prison.
Cause of Death
According to the Colombia’s National Penitentiary and Prison Institute (INPEC) confirmed on Thursday the death of Velasquez, nicknamed “Popeye,” who was hospitalized over a month ago for stomach cancer.
According to INPEC Velasquez had been hospitalized since December 31. Colombian broadcaster RCN reported he was battling the disease for several months and was undergoing chemotherapy.
He wroteHis life was the subject of television series, including Netflix’s “Narcos” and “Surviving Escobar” — the latter based on a book.
He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the assassination of presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan in 1989. After serving most of his sentence, he was released in 2014 and eventually became a popular YouTube personality.
He said he used the YouTube channel to show his reincorporation into society. However, he was captured again in 2018 for being linked to criminal activity.