Killing Escobar (2021)


The untold story of the attempted assassination of Pablo Escobar, while at the height of his powers, by a small team of elite mercenaries.


Documentary telling the incredible true story of Scottish mercenary Peter McAleese, who was hired to kill Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in 1989. With unprecedented access to Peter and other members of his team, this is the first full account of that fateful mission and the dark consequences for those involved.

With full access to McAleese’s personal archive, as well as never-before-seen amateur footage of the operation, Killing Escobar weaves this material alongside dramatic reconstruction and interviews from McAleese and his fellow mercenaries. We also hear from one of Pablo Escobar’s bodyguards, members of America’s DEA and the security chief of the Colombian drug cartel that wanted Escobar eliminated.

The film also provides a deeply personal character study of Peter McAleese, a man trained to fight and kill, and the cost this has had on himself and his family. McAleese actively sought out war and conflict but admits that he, and those close to him, paid a costly price for his desire to seek adventure.

McAleese’s youth in postwar working class Glasgow was marked by poverty and violence and he quickly learned how to fight. Leaving Glasgow for the Parachute Regiment in 1960, Peter learned to channel his aggression into soldiering, seeing action in the SAS before fighting as a mercenary in Africa throughout the 80s.

In 1989, McAleese and his friend Dave Tomkins were hired by a Colombian drug cartel to undertake a mission to kill the world’s biggest cocaine dealer, Pablo Escobar. In Colombia, he gathered a select team of ex-Special Forces operatives and began training for a lightning raid on Escobar’s Hacienda. After 11 weeks of intense preparation, the men launched the operation which ultimately led to disaster and would have a devastating effect on McAleese and others.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • David Whitney.
  • Producer(s):
    • Ian Berg … co-executive producer.
    • Nathalie Choquette … associate producer.
    • Alan Clements … producer.
    • Mick McAvoy … producer (as Michael McAvoy).
    • Laura Potes … head of production.
    • Nick Taussig … producer.
    • Mark Thomas … executive producer.
    • David Whitney … producer.
  • Writer(s):
    • David Whitney.
  • Music:
    • Charlie Jefferson.
  • Cinematography:
    • Julian Schwanitz.
  • Editor(s):
  • Production:
    • Rolling Productions Col (Production Services).
    • Salon Pictures.
    • Two Rivers Media.
  • Distributor(s):
    • BBC Scotland (2021) (UK) (TV).
  • Release Date: 07 March 2021 (Glasgow Film Festival).
  • Running Time: 93 minutes.
  • Rating: 15.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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