One of Colombia’s most infamous drug traffickers has come out about his participation in the hunt for Pablo Escobar, claiming that his brother was the one who fired the shot that killed the notorious drug lord, local media reported on Monday.
In a book he wrote from his cell in the Federal Detention Center in Miami, Florida where he is currently serving a 31-year sentence for drug trafficking, Diego Murillo, alias “Don Berna,” opened-up about the death squad known as “Los Pepes” that was financed by the mafia and led the hunt for Escobar, according to Colombia’s El Tiempo newspaper.
In seven pages of his book totaling 129 pages, Don Berna elaborated on the day that Escobar was killed, saying that he and his brother Rodolfo Murillo Bejarano, alias “Semilla,” were present with the police when they arrived at the house Escobar was hiding in, and that his brother was the one who took him down, according to El Tiempo.
The ex-paramilitary outlined the events of Escobar’s final afternoon in his book, “How We Killed the Boss,” which will be published next week according to Colombia’s La Semana news magazine.
Don Berna wrote that he and his brother joined the police in entering Escobar’s safe-house on orders from Lieutenant Bolivar, and when Escobar ran from the house onto the roof, Semilla “took aim and shot him in the head with his M16 5.56 caliber rifle.”
PROFILE: Pablo Escobar
“A few minutes later came the commander [Hugo Aguilar] with his men and they hugged me, Semilla, and Lieutenant Bolivar,” said Don Berna, adding, “he congratulated us, he was happy (…) shooting into the air and yelling, ‘Viva Colombia!'”
Don Berna noted that Aguilar then asked him to leave, because when the press came, he didn’t want Don Berna to be present on account of his notoriety as a paramilitary, El Tiempo reported.
Escobar had been on the run for 16 months after fleeing authorities while being transferred between jails, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The announcement of Don Berna’s brother killing Pablo Escobar comes nearly 21 years after the event took place, and it has not been reported as to why the delay; however, it does coincide with the release of Don Berna’s new book.
Officials taking part in the hunt for Escobar have denied Don Berna’s claims that his brother shot the drug lord, El Tiempo reported.
“It’s not true what he says. I was constantly communicating by radio with police officer Hugo Aguilar and with the Lieutenant Hugo Martinez Bolivar (my son), and the operation was carried out entirely by policemen,” said General Hugo Martinez Poveda, head of the search unit to capture Escobar.
According to reports, Jorge Guerrero Pasichana, a sergeant who died two years after Escobar’s death, along with Police Chief Aguilar and another officer, were the only three who shot Escobar.
Don Berna was a leader of the now-demobilized paramilitary group AUC, and remains under investigation for numerous disappearances and murders in Colombia. He was officially charged with a further 20 crimes of the same nature by a Medellin court in March.
Last September, Don Berna was on the forefront of news as he confirmed that the AUC had donated $1 million to former President Alvaro Uribe’s 2002 election campaign.