Countless times, I have been asked why I have always been interested in the story of Pablo Escobar. Some wondered if it was because I hoped to venture into drug dealing? But no. My reasons are far beyond that, maybe far deeper. 10 days reading this book and I’m here to share some insights.
When I first heard of scanty stories about Pablo Escobar, my very first impression was a loud Wooow. Slowly, I got to see many Pablo Escobars in many people i saw. Plainly to me, Pablo was a man who acquired alot of power because he had alot of money. What seems to be the issue was how he made his money. I will share my thoughts about his way of making money later in this post. I also learnt Pablo did alot of killing and was always at war with his enemies and the government. He killed government officials, common men, but largely , he also killed any one who came against him or his family. This Story of Pablo is a story many people are living today. I bet you identify his personality with some. I probably see the character of a Pablo in my leaders, in my relatives , in my friends, and who knows, I might be married to a Pablo some day or be a Pablo myself, and that’s why I felt so drawn to this story. How did the wife survive dying in her sleep one night from extreme terror or worry?
In her book PABLO AND ME; My life with ESCOBAR, Victoria Eugenia Henao recounted every detail of her life with ESCOBAR. Before, during and after. Accurately in 11 chapters, she detailed how she endured a life of meeting a drug Lord at 13, marrying him at 15 , the 2 children they had together, the constant attacks on the family, how they moved from house to house, his infidelity, how he died, the negotiations she had to make with the government and the enemies before and after his death , their escape, change of identity and how they moved to finally settle in Argentina, and the struggles they faced there after.
First of all, Victoria’s character strikes me as brave. Very brave actually. How she managed to go through it all, an endure it all, the secrets she kept, being married to someone but yet not know much about their operations or movements. I’m not sure I can be this patient really. Was it because she was young and naive . 27 years later after Pablo’s death, Victoria is still not sure if what bound her to him was fear or Love. My guess is Love. Because if it were fear, then she probably would have snitched on him and probably got him arrested in exchange for her freedom and a brighter life there after. We see this alot today. Wives of presidents have led to their arrest and overthrow. And largely the greater reason must have been the love she had for her children, and wanting her children to grow up with both parents although it was only short-lived.
When she started gaining public recognition as Pablo’s wife especially when he ventured into politics, her worries were far from what you and I would have today. But they were accurate for her young age. She worried about what she would wear, and treat herself in public and slowly took classes to educate herself about etiquette and art something that she was do passionate about. Organising events, dinners, and organising their various mansions in the country.
Pablo on the other hand was the handsome, rich and arrogant kind. He didn’t have to explain to anyone, but it’s quite clear he loved his wife, Tata, as he liked to call her. He adored her deeply and further more adored his children. Many stories are told how he killed anyone that came in their way or threatened their lives in any way. He spoilt them with expensive gifts and interesting to know that even in his hide outs, he made sure they received flowers on special days. Maybe his death would have been delayed abit if it were not for his constant calls to his family from his hideout that probably aided in his location and termination. He was many bad things as described, but I believe he was also a noble man too. Not doubt!
In chapter 4; PABLO’S WOMEN . Victoria recounts the numerous affairs Pablo had and emphasizes that money gave him the luxury to have and get any kind of woman he desired. It’s possible she didn’t exhaust all of them but I can only imagine the heartache she endured. It’s one thing to suspect that your partner could be having an affair, but it’s another to actually know them by name, face, location , occupation , and still do nothing about it. Completely nothing! She found her safe place in art. Something I enjoy too but have little knowledge about. She went to international exhibitions, interacting with renown artists and made a good collection of expensive pieces for herself which she would soon lose to raids, bombs and the enemies of her husband.
I’ll give you my thoughts on drug trafficking. I don’t do drugs, and I’m not in close circles with people who do drugs. But I completely have no problem with what someone has to do with their hard earned money. I call it Economic Autonomy. You can so choose what way you earn your money and what you do with it provided it doesn’t put the lives of those who are not willing to engage in trouble. For me, drug trafficking isn’t the big sin if compared to the evils we know that are happening in our countries. Because how do you say it’s illegal to sell drugs, but just okay to embezzle funds that could feed an entire district for years. Give us a break! It’s only hipocrisy!!!!!!
I feel completely happy to share my thoughts, and I completely wish every book lover would read this book. I bet I’ll re-read some chapters afew years to come.