Klaus Barbie, known as the infamous Butcher of Lyon, spent the Second World War torturing French citizens for the Gestapo, however Barbie’s story doesn’t end with the collapse of the Nazi party.
After the war was over the notorious Nazi wasn’t arrested, he was instead recruited by the CIA to further their own agenda in Europe, namely the battle against communism, reports The Mirror.
Eventually Herr Barbie’s cover was blown and the French government sentenced him to death. It’s believed that the U.S. government then smuggled him to Bolivia where he’s suspected of helping to kill the revolutionary Che Guevara .
Once in South America, the U.S. are believed to have lost control of their operative and it is reported he joined forces with a number of drug lords – including Pablo Escobar – helping to launch the global cocaine trade.
While in Bloivia he’s also believed to have educated government enforcers in ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ like torture using the skills he developed while working for the Gestapo.
Eventually he went on to become a colonel in the Bolivian army, using drug money and thugs to carry out a military coup before building a narco-state where drug smugglers could enhance their cocaine empire without fear of prosecution.
Peter McFarren, who tracked Barbie down and interviewed him several times, says:
Barbie may not have been physically involved in shipping kilos of drugs, but he played a decisive role in the growth of the cocaine trade in Bolivia, Peru and Columbia.
He was the liaison between these kings of cocaine and the government, military and mercenaries.
It’s believed one of his ‘associates’ may have been the ‘King of Cocaine’ Pablo Escobar and that Barbie supplied him with weapons which helped him build his $30 billion empire.
Barbie wasn’t done though, he was always terrified that a communist revolution could occur and that he’d be over thrown and deported to France to stand trial for his war crimes, and plotted to overthrow the Bolivian government.
Unfortunately for the sadistic fiend, after the collapse of the military dictatorship in 1983 he was extradited to France to stand trial. When on trial aged 70, he remained unrepentant for his many crimes, declaring: “When I stand before the throne of God I shall be judged innocent.”
He was tried on 41 counts of crimes against humanity, and found guilty. He was jailed for life in July 1987 and died four years later of leukaemia and cancer of the prostate and spine.