Fabio Ochoa Restrepo

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Fabio Ochoa Restrepo
Born 1923
Died 2002 (aged 79)
Medellin, Colombia
Nationality Colombian
Other names Don Fabio
Occupation Horse rancher, criminal
Children Juan David Ochoa Vásquez
Jorge Luis Ochoa Vásquez
Fabio Ochoa Vásquez

Fabio Ochoa Restrepo (also known as Don Fabio, 1923–2002) was a Paso Fino enthusiast, rancher, businessman, and patriarch of a notorious Colombian crime family associated with the Medellín drug cartel of Pablo Escobar.



Ochoa kept many ranches near Medellin, raised more than a thousand thoroughbreds and was a successful businessman.[1] Because most of his wealth did not come from criminal activities, it is generally assumed that Ochoa himself was not linked to drug trafficking, although his sons are well known for their involvement in the trade.[2] Jorge Luis Ochoa, was at one time considered the number two leader in the Medellin cartel: In 1996 he was arrested and given a five-year prison sentence in Colombia. Fabio Ochoa Vázquez "Fabito" (b. 1957) was extradited to the United States in September 2001.

"In his autobiography, 'My life in the world of Horses,' published by a vanity press Mr Ochoa writes that 'Don Fabio is to Colombia's Horse world what Garcia Marquez is to Colombia's world of letters or what Fernando Botero is to Colombia's world of painting."[3] A 1989 picture of Fabio Ochoa Restrepo shows him signing his book which he planned to send to the Pope.[4]

Death and legacy[edit]

Ochoa died in 2002 in Colombia. He was the subject of a brief segment in Full Circle with Michael Palin. He was portrayed in the 2006 documentary film Cocaine Cowboys, where the former Medellín Cartel associate Jon Roberts said of him: "As many people want to believe that Pablo Escobar was the king of cocaine, they can believe that, but the man that was really the king was Ochoa & not Fabito the poor man it was the old man that never did a day in jail that really controlled Escobar ".


  1. ^ Gunson, Phil (29 April 2002). "Obituary: Fabio Ochoa Restrepo". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-01-18. Retrieved 2017-04-23. 
  3. ^ Chia Journal; Where Did the Don Get His Fortune?, 1994 New York Times Article Link
  4. ^ Page 164, of The War on Drugs: An International Encyclopedia By Ron Chepesiuk, Published by ABC-CLIO, 1999,ISBN 0-87436-985-1, ISBN 978-0-87436-985-4