Popeye was convicted in connection with the murder of presidential hopeful Luis Carlos Galán in 1989, but in 2006 testified against former justice minister Alberto Santofimio, a rival candidate in the 1990 presidential race who was convicted of ordering Galan's assassination. Galán, who campaigned promising a crackdown on Escobar's Medellín Cartel, was the favorite to win the election before he was gunned down in the public square of a Bogotá suburb as he prepared to give a speech. In his press interviews, Popeye also claimed responsibility for the 1988 kidnapping of Andres Pastrana—then the mayor of Bogotá and later president of Colombia. He also admitted to murdering his own girlfriend on Escobar's orders — and claimed involvement in the 1989 bombing of Avianca Airlines Flight 203, which killed all 107 people on board.
Popeye, who puts his odds on survival outside the prison walls at just 20%, is now contrite. "I want to teach the youth of Colombia that they don't have to sell their lives for a Mercedes-Benz or the pants of a beauty queen, like I did," he said upon his relase. "Perhaps they will give me that opportunity."