What does “Plata o Plomo” mean in english? Meaning, Translation, Explanation


“Plata o Plomo” means “money or life”. Literally, “Plata o Plomo” means in english: “silver or lead”.

“Silver” is a designation for money. “Lead” is a term for the bullet of a gun.

“Plata o Plomo” in english: Meaning, Explanation, Translation

“Plata o Plomo” is a threat that reads: take a bribe or die. In other words, bribe or die. This shows how little a police officer’s life was worth to the narcos. For a police officer who had to choose between “Plata” or “Plomo” had to choose between allowing himself to be corrupted in order to live or dying for his courage in refusing the offer. (A man who wants to see his children grow up will quickly have to choose to live and learn to live with having accepted money from Narcos).

The Netflix series “Narcos” made the saying “Plata o Plomo” famous around the world. In the series, Pablo Escobar can be seen repeatedly saying “Plata o Plomo” to police officers, officials or politicians. In the very first episode of the first season of Narcos, Pablo Escobar says the phrase “Plata o Plomo” when he is stopped by local police while crossing a bridge.

“Plata o Plomo” has also found its way into the vernacular. Jokingly, “Plata o Plomo” is said when someone wants to know if someone is serious about something or if someone will back up their words with action.

“Plata o Plomo” stands for the narcos, for their wealth, their power, their unscrupulousness and their violence.

What does “Plata o Plomo” mean in english? Translation

“Plata” means “silver” in english and is also used in Latin American Spanish as a term for money.

“Plomo” means “lead” in english and is also used as a term for “bullet” (cartridge).

The “o” in Spanish stands for the english word “or”.
Thus, “Plata o Plomo” literally means “silver or bullet” in english.

The opposite of “Plata o Plomo” is “Plata y Plomo”. “Plata y Plomo” means in english: “silver and lead, or analogously “Money and lead”  or “money and bullet”.

About “Plata o Plomo”: origin and history

In Colombia, the saying “Plata o Plomo” spread from the 1980s onwards due to the activities of the Medellín Cartel around Pablo Escobar. Many different people had to listen to the threat “Plata o Plomo” in Colombia in the 1980s and 1990s. The narcos threatened police officers, judges, civil servants, government officials and members of parliament.

On Google, searches for “Plata o Plomo” increased in 2015, which was also the year when the first season of Narcos was released. But before that, searches for “Plata o Plomo” were also made on Google.com.

Lead is used in the production of ammunition. However, bullets are not made of lead, but lead alloys are used as bullet material. The case is usually made of steel, aluminum or brass.


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Other meaning of “Plata o Plomo”

“Plata o Plomo” is a song by SpongeBOZZ.

“Plata O Plomo” is a song by Manuellsen. It was released in 2017 and included on the album “The Lion”.

“Plata O Plomo” is the name of the album by US rappers Fat Joe & Remy Ma.

“Plata O Plomo” is a song by Fard.

“Plata o Plomo” is a song by Gunz for Hire.

“Plata o Plomo” is a song by Yuzuf.

“Plata o Plomo” is a song by the band Soulfly. It is included on the album Enslaved, which was released in 2012.

T-shirts with “Plata o Plomo” printed on them are sold on the Internet. Other merchandise with “Plata o Plomo” imprint is also distributed. E.g. mugs, wall tattoos and posters.

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