Demolition begins on Florida mansion owned by Pablo Escobar

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- A vestige of the drug wars that made Miami notorious for violence and smuggling is being torn down.

Demolition began Tuesday on a pink waterfront mansion in Miami Beach owned in the 1980s by Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

The U.S. government seized it in 1987. It was acquired in 1990 by a private owner, and Chicken Kitchen owner Christian de Berdouare bought it in 2014.

De Berdouare wants to build a modern home on the site. Watching construction excavators tear into the mansion, he said he was elated to see "the house of the devil" disappearing.

U.S. authorities say it's unclear whether Escobar ever spent any time in Miami Beach, though the property was listed in his name. Escobar died in a shootout with Colombian National Police in 1993.

In this 1983 file photo, Medellin drug cartel boss Pablo Escobar, left, watches a soccer game in Medellin, Colombia.

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