The Accountant's Story

Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel
Narrated by: Ruben Diaz
Length: 9 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (132 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Arguably the largest and most successful criminal enterprise in history, at times the Medellin drug cartel was smuggling 15 tons of cocaine a day, worth more than half a billion dollars, into the United States. Roberto Escobar knows - he was the accountant who kept track of all the money.

How much money? According to Roberto, he and his brother's operation spent $1000 a week just purchasing rubber band to wrap the stacks of cash - and since they had more illegal money than they could deposit in the banks, they stored the bricks of cash in their warehouses, annually writing off 10% as "spoilage" when the rats crept in at night and nibbled on the hundred dollar bills.

At the height of this cartel's reach, in order to help them deliver their goods, the Escobars purchased thirteen 727 airliners from Eastern Airlines when that airline went bankrupt. They also purchased six Russian mini-submarines. Roberto knows - he did the books.

In short, this is Pablo Escobar's story in the words of one of his closest confidants, his brother Roberto. It's all here - the brutal violence inside the world of the drug cartel, dealing with American drug forces and the CIA, the problems the Escobars faced when going up against the Colombian mafia, even Pablo's moments of kindness and compassion towards less fortunate countrymen in Colombia. As Roberto points out, although many people view Escobar as a monster, thousands still visit his grave every year to mourn him, and revere him as a savior.

Now in his 60s, Roberto, who has served 10 years in Colombian jail for his part in the Medellin cartel, now wants to set the record straight, once and for all.

©2009 Roberto Escobar (P)2009 Hachette

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

get the unabridged version

its supposed to be good, but the abridged version seems to skip too much important details.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!

Roberto Escobar was the accountant to the infamous Pablo Escobar and the Medellin drug carlet. This is his story of the unbelievable amounts of money handled by the drug organization - where it came from, how the organization worked, and the physical accounting for the funds.

This is a page turner, well written and well read true crime history. The book will open the eyes of most people concerning the size and power of this cartel.

I would suggest that the reader read Roberto Sariano's "Gomorrah" before or after this book to understand other international criminal activity as well.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Another Thug that claims to be a victim

First of all, does it cost too much to hire somebody that can read both English and Spanish with the right pronunciation? It's so annoying!!!

The story told made me gag. Roberto Escobar is another thug that says did nothing and wants to portray his brother as a Colombian Robin Hood. conveniently forgets important and gruesome parts of the story or says I wasn't there I don't know. Blames everybody but himself for the crimes.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Truly a devil in disguise.

He ruled his country until too many people died and they turned on him. He gained respect by giving to the poorest of the poor.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KR
  • 05-10-17

Interesting point of view

The whole story of Pablo Escobar is quite fascinating. How he was able to climb so high so quickly and how he got away with so much for so long. What's amazing is how Roberto Escobar defends Pablo every step of the way. Interesting read, you get a better insight into the Escobar world.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Phenomenal story

I had read a few books on Pablo before and watched a few documentaries so I knew the public story. was nice to get the view from inside the camp, even if it is a slightly biased version of events. Can't be many people alive with a more interesting story to tell.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A deeper insight

This is a pretty interesting take on the Pablo Escobar story as written by his brother.

You can't be shocked when he defends his brother, but he walks a fairly successful tightrope between the loyal familial bonds and the admittance that the monster was rea..l it gives you more details on some of the specifics that aren't covered in the general coverage of a very dark story.

It also allows you to hear a little bit more into that scary mind of a truly evil man who had the loving family side that posed as complete paradox to the evil stereotype, and you are witness to some otherwise unspoken anecdotes and history of Pablo Escobar.

A worthwhile read which is smoothly narrated.

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    5 out of 5 stars

What a surprise!

This book was recommended to me by a co-worker because I travel lots. I am always on the search for a good book that fascinates me and keeps me intrigued. This book is a real page turner!!! I was a bit apprehensive about it at first and so I passed on it for a couple of months because I use my credits only on stuff that I'm truly interested in and in a moment of scrolling and scrolling I selected this just to give it a try.

From the moment the narrator started reading I was hooked! Much to my surprise the "F" word was used maybe only about 4 times. It is not a "ghetto" crime story but rather a story of life in a third world country and the will of a human spirit to become something in life at any cost. The story is very authentic raw and real. It is extremely well written and keeps you hooked right down to the very last page! Very well done!

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excellent!

this book really puts you there in the moment with Pablo and Roberto. can't see it being any better

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating insight but don't expect any apologies

What did you like best about this story?

The facts and details about the business along with the man who built that empire. "Killing Pablo" was told from the authorities' perspective but this book gives insight from an insider's perspective as to how Escobar came about the drug business.

Did Ruben Diaz do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Very odd accent. Not sure if he was using the author's accent to guide him.

Any additional comments?

Don't expect any apologies from the Escobar brother, as he seems slightly off his rocker. He essentially blames "others" before taking any responsibilities for the violence and destruction caused by Pablo and his cartel. He also mentions cure for cancer and HIV so the guy maybe residing in the cuckoos nest.