Killing Escobar review – the hard men behind plot to kill drug lord


Mercenaries Peter McAleese and David Tomkins tell the story and backstory behind their contract on the Colombian kingpin

Here’s a documentary that shines a light on squalid corner of British post-imperial legacy: the batches of mercenaries – largely former military personnel – who roamed the world’s trouble spots in the 70s and 80s, killing for hire in numerous civil conflicts in Africa and Latin America. (As this film suggests, these ex-SAS types weren’t politically neutral: they were actively keen on killing communists in places like Angola and Rhodesia.)

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The film focuses on an escapade that is – ethically speaking – a little less murky than cold war Africa: a plot to assassinate the super-powerful Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in the late 1980s. However, since it was organised at the behest of another super-powerful Colombian drug lord, any claims to the moral high ground are not really supportable.

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