Pablo Escobar’s Hidden Treasure

On January 19, 2016, the pink water-front mansion on Miami Beach once owned by the 1980s Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was demolished. Built in 1948, the 6,500 square foot, the four-bedroom mansion would have been quite unassuming for the “King of Cocaine” who at the pinnacle of his career was one of the richest men in the world. Authorities speculate the property was used as a hideout for members of the Medellín cartel, and to smuggle cocaine. Escobar was shot and killed by police in 1993 in Colombia.

In 1987, the property was seized by the U.S. government, and the home is now owned by Chicken Kitchen founder and CEO Christian de Berdouare and his wife, journalist Jennifer Valoppi. After purchasing the home, the couple hired professional treasure hunters and a documentary film crew to search the property for any mementos left behind by Escobar’s cartel. Holes were found punched in the walls of the mansion, and treasure hunters speculate that someone may have been searching for some hidden treasure long forgotten by the drug traffickers.

One week before the home was scheduled for demolition, a handyman discovered that thieves had stolen a 10-inch round metal safe previously hidden under a staircase in the home. Federal law enforcement officials warned the couple that individuals previously affiliated with Escobar might return to the house looking for souvenirs from the cartel’s heyday.

Workers demolishing the home recently excavated a second metal safe hidden under the mansion’s foundation. The safe is locked and its contents are still a mystery. The safe will be stored in a bank vault, where it will stay until the property owners decide to open it. They plan to unlock it after Jennifer Valoppi’s documentary on the history of the mansion is completed. 

-Ursa Gil

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