The video shows us tidbits of a meeting between former President Andres Pastrana and his kidnapper of 25 years ago. Pastrana visited Jhon Jairo Velasquez, alias “Popeye,” in La Combita, a maximum security prison on June 28, 2012.
Pastrana was a candidate for mayor of Bogotá when on January 18, 1988, Popeye led 10 armed men into Pastrana’s campaign headquarters, and took the candidate by force. They shoved him into the trunk of a green Mazda 626 and drove away.
Popeye worked as a hired killer for Pablo Escobar, and he had followed Pastrana for two years, since 1986 when Pastrana led the news segment TV Hoy. Escobar planned to attack the political leadership and so influence policy that would not support extradition, and Pastrana’s father, former President Misael Pastrana, was the main spokesperson for the Conservative Party.
Popeye said, “I was the general of the troops of Pablo Escobar Gaviria. I ceased walking, I levitated. .. I am a rat but I am rehabilitated.”
Popeye asked for forgiveness from Pastrana.
Popeye said, “I am retiring from crime, I will be out (of prison) in 14 months. I want to step away from crime .. Here, I have thought about things, doctor (sir). I was a big assassin, I used to dismember people. I have a conscience now. I have given myself to God. I want to get out and live a normal life. I do not want to enter crime again. I want to enjoy day to day, the small things … From my heart, for what I have done, for what the Medellin Cartel did, for putting your life at risk, for making doña Nohra suffer, and your children and your parents, I ask your forgiveness. I ask your forgiveness, I ask from my heart, doctor. From my heart.”
Pastrana reached out, and the two locked hands.
The video is part of the former president’s web library found here.