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Last Updated: Monday, 30 August, 2004, 03:07 GMT 04:07 UK
Colombia wins drug baron's house
By Jeremy McDermott
BBC correspondent in Antioquia, Colombia

The Colombian state has won its final battle against the late head of the Medellin drugs cartel, Pablo Escobar. For the last 11 years Escobar's wife and children have been trying to stop the government seizing the drug lord's massive hacienda.

Now the government has won, after passing new legislation.

It plans to hand much of the estate over to peasants driven from their land in the 40-year civil conflict between the government and rebels.

Hacienda Napoles in Antioquia was the symbol of Pablo Escobar's wealth and power.

Pablo Escobar
Escobar was shot dead in 1993
Over the archway entrance to the estate Escobar put the plane he flew his first drug consignment in.

He imported a zoo, Al Capone's car from Chicago and every luxury imaginable for the 2,200 hectare estate.

Since his death in 1993 at the hands of the police, the state has been seeking to confiscate this property.

The current government of President Alvaro Uribe passed legislation making it easier to seize any assets believed to be the proceeds of drugs trafficking.

Now there is an idea to turn the luxury mansion where Escobar once held court into a museum of crime to try to convince younger Colombians that it really doesn't pay.

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