A former hitman for drugs lord Pablo Escobar, who has admitted to killing 300 people, has somehow become a YouTube star.
John Jairo Velasquez, a former enforcer for the Medellín drug cartel, served 22 years in prison for committing numerous murders and ordering many deaths. Just two years ago, the 54-year-old was released from a high-security prison and he has now kicked off his own YouTube channel, which he uses to speak about remorse.
Velasquez, who is popular by the name “Popeye,” is working toward becoming a political activist, using his former life as an example and speaking to internet users about how he is trying to adjust back into society.
He currently has around 118,000 followers and his channel description reads, “I started this channel in order to tell the day to day process of reintegration into society.”
“I have had the opportunity to be born again after 23 years and three months of the worst punishment a human being can afford,” he said.
Many YouTube users leave comments for him, asking various questions about his past life and experiences.
Velasquez has made it clear that he does not intent to make money off his channel, but instead wishes to tell stories about things that happened.
"I’ve been famous for 30 years. I only want to have an opinion because I am an activist.
"I am against the Venezuelan and Colombian government. I am against Donald Trump because of his hatred of Latinos. I just want my opinion heard," he told The New York Times.
It seems like after years of living amid, and causing, violence, the former hitman now wants to align himself with societal norms. The underlying message in all his videos is one of forgiveness, and thousands of people admire and support him on social media for having the courage to speak up about his experiences and making the effort to change himself into a better person.