Two months we will have to wait for the most dangerous video slot so far and amigo, when this game is being launched on 23rd May, you better keep your head down! El cartel de Medellín is coming to the reels! The Narcos™ videoslot will be based on the most violent, rich and ruthless criminal organization in modern history and the man at the head of this empire…Pablo Escobar!
Narcos, Pablo Escobar, and Colombia’s drug war!
The city of Medellín, set within the folds of Andean mountains, now flourishes with art and orchids, but it was during the 80s and 90s that the “city of eternal spring” was in the grip of Pablo Escobar, drug cartels and violence! Medellín’s citizens did everything it could to successfully turn around the violent and negative image of the city. A series of forward-thinking mayors helped to make the city less dangerous while concentrating on technology and innovation.
It all started in the 70’s, when illegal cocaine trade became a significant problem in Latin America. In the early 20th century, it was the export of coffee that contributed to Medellín’s growth and later on in 1907 Coltejer, one of the most important textile companies in Colombia, was established in the city. But there were also companies related to coal (and energy) and some potteries while arts and literature have been an important social element in Medellín.
Colombia entered a new era of political instability with the murder of presidential candidate Jorge Eliecer Gaitán in Bogotá in 1948, and many fled to the city of Medellín and became the second industrial city in Colombia. However, for quite a while, the city was known as one of the most dangerous cities in the world as a result of a war set off by the drug cartels at the end of the 1980s.
As the home of the Medellín Cartel, founded by drug lord Pablo Escobar, the city was victim of the terror caused by the war between the organization headed and competing cartels. It was in the 70s that Pablo Escobar (born in 1949) began to engage in criminal activity after he left the Universidad Autónoma Latinoamericana of Medellín without a degree. Escobar spent his days selling contraband cigarettes and fake lottery tickets, but soon enough he got involved in more serious criminal activities before beginning to distribute powder cocaine himself, as well as establishing the first smuggling routes into the United States in 1975.
The rising demand of cocaine did harm to many, but not to the expansion of Escobar’s smuggling business and by the 1980s, it was estimated that 70 to 80 tons of cocaine were being shipped from Colombia to the U.S. every single month.
It should come as no surprise that other drug cartels in the region were after Medellín Cartel’s successful business which lead to a drug war between Medellín Cartel and rival cartels resulting in massacres and the murders of police officers, judges, locals, and prominent politicians, both domestically and abroad.
In May 1976, for example, Escobar and his men were arrested with 18 kg of white paste, attempting to return to Medellín from Ecuador. Pablo tried to bribe the judges, but didn’t succeed but after a few months of legal wrangling, Escobar ordered the murder of the two arresting officers. The case was dropped and it was the point where Pablo began his pattern of dealing with the authorities, by either bribery or murder.
The growing demand for cocaine in the United States, lead to Escobar organized more smuggling shipments, routes, and distribution networks using planes and eventually small submarines to transport the massive loads.
Early 80’s, Escobar was elected member of the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia. At that time he was the enemy of many, but a hero to the poor people of Medellín. Not only was he a natural at public relations, he also worked hard to cultivate a Robin Hood image distributing money through housing projects and other civic activities. In exchange, the people of Medellín helped Escobar to stay out of trouble when needed.
Escobar quickly became known internationally as his drug network gained notoriety as the Medellín Cartel controlled a large portion of the drugs that entered the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Spain.
At the peak of Medellín Cartel’s operations, 15 tons of cocaine were smuggled into the States daily, worth more than half a billion dollars while other drug traffickers from Medellín and other areas were handing over up to 35% of their Colombian cocaine-related profits to Escobar.
The early 90s another peak was reached when Colombian cartels started to struggle to maintain supremacy. As a means of intimidation, the Medellín Cartel conducted thousands of assassinations throughout the country. Escobar and his associates made it clear that whoever stood against them would risk being killed along with their families. An estimation shows around 3,500 killed during the height of the cartel’s activities, including over 500 police officers in Medellín. However, there’s no official number due to the limitation of the judiciary power in Colombia.
The fall of Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel
What put an end to the misery of Medellín and Colombia in general? Well, after the death of Escobar, crime rates in the city decreased dramatically, but a series of events lead to the fall of the drug lord! This part of the story started with the assassination of Luis Carlos Galán, a Colombian liberal politician and journalist. It was then that the administration of César Gaviria moved against Escobar and the drug cartels. A negotiation with Escobar followed in which he was convinced to surrender and cease all criminal activity in exchange for a reduced sentence which he did in 1991.
In 1992, Pablo Escobar escaped prison and a manhunt began. A special Colombian police task force known as the Search Bloc was created to locate Escobar. Meanwhile, a vigilante group composed of enemies of Pablo Escobar waged a small-scale war against the Medellín Cartel in the early 1990s, which ended in 1993 following the death of Escobar.
What to expect from the upcoming Narcos™ video slot?
Action! You can’t bring Colombia’s drug war to the reels without a lot of action, but since there’s no preview video available yet, I only have two posters and a description to base my Narcos™ videoslot preview on.
The Netflix series Narcos is about the Medellin cartel and the one man who lorded over them all, Pablo Escobar so I guess that’s exactly what the Narcos™ videoslot is about. But how is NetEnt going to bring the rise and fall the most violent, ruthless and wealthy criminal organization in the history of modern crime to five reels?
Well, I’m sure that the Narcos™ video slot will bring us to Medellín, back then the dark underworld of Colombia’s drug war. That’s where it all began and where it all ended! NetEnt is already warning that the Narcos videoslot™ is a game filled with characters who live in a world of danger, fast money and all manner of vices. So I assume we’ll find Wagner Moura on the reels as Pablo Escobar, accompanied by some of his fellow drug lords.
Get ready to keep your head down, because these guys don’t mess around. Even not in this 5-reel, 3-row video slot with 243 bet ways! Based on a badass organization, I expect nothing less that some badass video slot features!
The Walking Wilds, as seen in Jack and the Beanstalk™ , Halloween Jack™, and Creature from the Black Lagoon™, are a good start, but I expect more! The Drive-by feature sounds original, transforming some high value symbols into Wild symbols, but still, we need more action. That’s why the infamous Locked Up feature is going to be around, which (when activated) awards a random coin win.
Is it the Golden Locked Up symbol that will lead us to the underworld? Well 3 Scatter symbols appearing anywhere on reels 1,3 and 5 will result in 10 Free Spins! And since we don’t know where these 10 free spins will lead us to, yes, we might end up in the middle of the action!
To be 100% sure, we have to wait for the official preview video which I expect to be published soon, or the game release on the 23rd of May! Stay tuned!