posted by Benedict Townsend

John Jairo Velásquez is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people – and now he has over 100,000 subscribers

A former ‘enforcer’ for notorious South American drug lord Pablo Escobar has started a YouTube channel, in a bid to start a new life for himself. John Jairo Velásquez is responsible for the deaths of over 300 people and according the Guardian “ordered the murder of thousands more, and masterminded some 200 car bombs during the Medellín cartel’s war against its rivals and the Colombian state.” He was known in his criminal days as ‘Popeye’ and now that he has served over two decades in prison for his crimes, he insists that his murderous life is behind him, which is reflected  by the name of his channel: ‘Popeye Arrepentido‘ which translates as ‘remorseful Popeye’.



As almost comically ridiculous as the situation seems, Popeye’s gruesome crimes were no joke – and those affected by his crimes have reacted sharply to his newfound online fame. Gonzálo Rojas, whose father was killed by a bomb planted on the passenger plane he was travelling in  (a crime that killed 110 people in total and for which Popeye has admitted responsibility), reacted negatively to the former hitman’s newfound online fame saying: “It’s a slap in the face for us for him to present himself now as an expert, a consultant, when he hasn’t shown any remorse for what he did to us.”


Velásquez (right) with murderous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar

Despite this, Popeye has managed to amass over 100,000 subscribers on his channel, where he posts videos which he says are intended to turn people away from a life of crime. His most popular videos, however, revolve around criticising the Venezuelan government. Popeye is insistent that he is reformed and ashamed of his past, despite all of his videos bafflingly beginning with an intro of a slow motion bullet:



This is genuinely the intro to his videos

What do you think about this situation? Should YouTube step in in some way – do you think they even can? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook.

And for all the latest YouTube news, check out our quick and slick show news ‘Slay Or Nay’:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>