Pablo Escobar vs. El Chapo: Net Worth and Everything You Need to Know

Pablo Escobar and Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán are two of the most notorious drug lords in history, known for their immense wealth and power in the world of drug trafficking. While both operate in different eras and regions, comparing their net worth can offer insights into the scale of their criminal empires and the impact they had on the global drug trade. In this article, we’ll explore the net worth of Pablo Escobar and El Chapo and delve into the details of their criminal careers.

Pablo Escobar

Drug Lord Pablo Escobar: Once On The List Of The Richest People In The World, Most
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Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, often referred to as the “King of Cocaine,” was a Colombian drug lord who rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s. He was the leader of the Medellín Cartel, one of the most powerful and violent drug cartels in history.

JAKARTA – It’s been almost three decades since Pablo Escobar’s death on December 2, 1993, the name of the former ruler of the Medellin Cartel, who is touted as one of the richest people in the world, is still famous. Don Pablo is often mentioned. Even the remnants of his life are immortalized, whether in the form of books, films, and even songs.

Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria is the full name of the Don. He was born in Rionegro, a small town on the outskirts of Medellin, Colombia on December 1, 1949. His father Abel de Jesus Escobar was a farmer, while his mother Hermilda de Los Dolores Gaviria was a teacher. Escobar was the third of seven children.

It turned out that Escobar did not inherit the noble values of his parents’ profession. His criminal brain has emerged since he was a teenager, starting with something trivial, namely selling fake diplomas. Escobar briefly sat in college, but dropped out.

Pablo Escobar and his family. (Business Insider)

Starting from the forgery of diplomas, Escobar’s crimes grew. He started smuggling audio devices, stealing expensive tombstones to cars. It was the car theft case that made him first acquainted with the prison in 1974.

Prisons are the craters of criminals, and Escobar proves it. After he was released from prison, his behavior got even worse. Escobar got acquainted with the drug business. The business that promises to multiply profits is what he finally pursued. In the mid-1970s Escobar had started a drug smuggling organization, which later developed into the Medellin Cartel.

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Profit IDR 6 Trillion Per Week

At the height of Escobar’s heyday, the Medellin Cartel he led dominated the cocaine trade in America. The cocaine business that he manages, generates a profit of no less than 420 million US dollars per week or around Rp. 6 trillion according to the current exchange rate. Escobar was transformed into one of the richest people in the world.

Escobar is estimated to have a personal wealth of US$25 billion, or around Rp. 358.9 trillion. He bought everything with that kind of money. Even offered assistance to the Colombian government to pay off the country’s debt, if Escobar was released from the extradition treaty of Colombia and the United States.

Nicolas Escobar, one of Pablo Escobar’s nephews, said in an interview with Colombian television channel Red+ Noticias in 2020 that he found a plastic package containing 18 million US dollars. The money equivalent to Rp258.4 billion was hidden inside the wall of one of the uncle’s houses.

“Every time I sit in the dining room and look in the direction of the car park, there are always people who come to the place and suddenly disappear. The smell in the room in the house was very strong. Maybe 100 times worse than the smell of carrion,” said Nicolas, who has lived in Escobar’s apartment for five years.

“Some of the notes that were found were obsolete and could no longer be used,” Nicolas added.

A Panamanian soldier guards the 1303 kg confiscated cocaine that was raided in Cocoli, Panama on January 23, 2013. ( Jose Rodriguez)

In the interview, Nicolas also told that he often accompanied his uncle on various occasions. Even once kidnapped by a group of people who are looking for the whereabouts of Escobar.

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“I was tortured for seven hours. He was my employee who was attacked with a chainsaw,” Nicolas said.

During his run from hunting his enemies in 1992-1993, Escobar is said to have spent as much as $2 million to burn in the fireplace to keep his daughter warm during her nomadic life. In the end, Escobar was unable to spend all of his money, which was always in cash.

According to one of his brothers, Pablo Escobar’s money was hidden in various unusual places such as warehouses and fields. Every year Escobar loses US$2.1 billion or around IDR28.7 trillion for various reasons. Either lost, stolen, damaged by the weather, or even eaten by rats.

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Net Worth:

At the height of his power, Pablo Escobar’s estimated net worth reached an astonishing $30 billion, making him one of the wealthiest individuals in the world. His cartel was responsible for the majority of cocaine trafficking into the United States during this period.

Criminal Career:

Escobar’s criminal career was marked by extreme violence, corruption, and terror. He was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, including law enforcement officials, politicians, and innocent civilians. His ruthless tactics included bombings, assassinations, and brutal reprisals against rivals.


Despite his immense wealth and power, Escobar’s empire eventually crumbled. He surrendered to Colombian authorities in 1991, hoping to avoid extradition to the United States. However, he continued to orchestrate criminal activities from prison. In 1993, he was killed in a shootout with Colombian police.

El Chapo

El Chapo trial: Prosecutors say drug lord feared justice on American soil
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Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, commonly known as El Chapo, is a Mexican drug lord who gained notoriety as the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. He became one of the most wanted criminals in the world and is known for his daring escapes from high-security prisons.

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Net Worth:

El Chapo’s net worth varied over the years due to the fluid nature of the drug trade. At his peak, it was estimated to be between $1 billion and $2 billion. However, his wealth fluctuated significantly due to arrests, asset seizures, and power struggles within the cartel.

Criminal Career:

El Chapo’s criminal career was marked by his ability to evade capture and his control over a vast drug empire that smuggled narcotics into the United States. He was involved in drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime activities.

Arrests and Escapes:

El Chapo was arrested multiple times but managed to escape from prison on several occasions, often through elaborate tunnels and bribery. His escapes earned him a reputation for being nearly impossible to detain.

Capture and Extradition:

In 2016, El Chapo was captured for the final time and subsequently extradited to the United States. In 2019, he was convicted on various charges, including drug trafficking, and sentenced to life in prison.


Pablo Escobar and El Chapo are infamous figures in the world of organized crime, with their net worth reflecting the enormous wealth generated by the illegal drug trade. While Escobar’s net worth reached staggering heights, El Chapo’s wealth was significant but more volatile due to his multiple arrests and imprisonments. Both drug lords left a trail of violence and destruction in their wake, and their stories continue to captivate the public as cautionary tales of the consequences of a life of crime.

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