In the 1990s, John Jairo Velásquez Vásquez, aka “Popeye” worked as the personal hitman for Colombia’s notorious drug baron, Pablo Escobar.
According to the man himself he personally killed 250 people, and ordered the deaths of more than 500 by his soldiers and the behest of Escobar. He was released from prison in 2014.
In the years since his murderer-for-hire days, Popeye has taken to writing about his life. He’s become somewhat of a celebrity in Columbia, with pop culture idolising his deceased boss – Popeye is the closest a lot of people will get to their idol.
He’s taken to writing his own blog – Popeye Reformed – and has even had autobiographical books published about his time with Escobar. His writing is known for being blunt and no nonsense, with one of the posts reading:
“Killing is very easy and planting bombs too and this is part of terrorism. I’m an expert in hijacking and everything that has to do with delinquency.”
Now, noticing his growing popularity within his home country, Popeye has vowed that he wants to run for president of Colombia.
The families of his victims have said the idea of Popeye becoming president “fills [them] with fear”. However he doesn’t seem phased, telling new reporters “It’s in the hands of God… and I have powerful friends to protect me.”