"I'm not going to harm anyone," he said, in an interview a year before his release.
The one murder for which he shows a flicker of remorse is that of his mistress, Wendy Chavarriga – who was Escobar's ex-girlfriend. "I have no regrets about anything, you can't change the past. "If one day I see Wendy again, I could only say 'I'm sorry.' It wasn't me. I was very loyal to Pablo Escobar." In October 1992, with the noose tightening around Escobar, Popeye handed himself in.
Escobar ordered her death for the betrayal, and for working as an informant for a rival gang. "I sent a group of guys – they're all dead today – who were working for me. In the first two prisons, other inmates tried to kill him several times.
Instead he hopes to write the screenplay of the Medellin Cartel story, or perhaps a book. I take care of myself, and if a guy comes after me to kill me, I'll defend myself.
He is on bail for nine million Colombian pesos, and cannot leave the country for two years. Will I spend 22 years in prison and then go out looking for enemies and saying 'Hey, here I am, shoot me!
By the time he was arrested, in 1992, he had killed 250 people with his own hands – including his own girlfriend – and ordered the murder of up to 3,000 more.