On August 18, 1989, leader of the New Liberalism Party of Colombia Luis Carlos Galan was assassinated by a machine-gunning carrying man as he stepped to a podium in Bogota. Galan was running for president on a platform that stood against the drug cartels that had long dominated life in Colombia. Earlier in the decade, Galan had publicly turned down money from notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar. Escobar did not forget the slight.
As he was running for president, Galan’s growing popularity worried many drug cartels that he would open up extradition to the United States – a fate greatly feared by most drug lords. While the assassination of Galan has never been fully solved, the gunman appears to have been hired by Pablo Escobar and former Justice Minister Alberto Santofimio Botero who was suspected of being in Escobar’s pocket. Unfortunately, for the drug lords, despite Galan’s death, his party still went on to win the presidential election of 1989, with Galan’s former speech writer Cesar Gaviria winning the election.
Featured Image: “Luis Carols Galan.” By TV Screenshot, broadcasted by Venezolana de Televisión.
Image 1. “Pablo Escobar.” By Colombian National Police – Columbia National Registry; Colombian National Police, Public Domain.
Sources: Stone, Robert. “The Autumn of the Drug Lord.” New York Times Books. 15 June 1997.
“Ex-Colombia minister held for murder.” BBC News. 12 May 2005.