During the 1980s, Pablo Escobar became known internationally as the Medellin Cartel gained notoriety. The Medellín Cartel is said to have controlled roughly eighty percent of the shipments that entered into the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic with shipments brought mostly from Peru and Bolivia, as Colombian coca was initially of substandard quality. Escobar's product reached many other nations, mostly around the Americas, although it is said that his network reached as far as Asia.
Escobar bribed countless Colombian government officials, judges and other politicians, and he often personally executed uncooperative subordinates and had anyone he viewed as a threat assassinated, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of individuals. Corruption and intimidation characterized the Colombian system during Escobar's heyday. He had an effective, inescapable strategy that was referred to as plata o plomo; Spanish for "silver or lead", intended to mean "accept a bribe or face assassination." Escobar was also responsible for the killing of three Colombian presidential candidates who were all competing in the same election, as well as the bombing of Avianca Flight 203 and a Bogotá security building in 1989. The Medellin Cartel was also involved in a deadly war with its main rival, the Cali Cartel, for most of its existence.