Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Netflix Series "Narcos", Uniquely Pablo Escobar

by Lucio R. Borderland Beat
This shirt is a best seller in Mexico
Netflix hit series “Narcos”, centering on the rise and fall of Cocaine King Pablo Escobar has sparked interest in all things Escobar. drug ,war history enthusiasts have overwhelmingly given the series kudos for  good accuracy, (many names have been changed but easily identifiable) entertainment and content.

In the series which takes viewers from the pivotal point in cocaine history, to Colombia from Chile, once the motherland of cocaine.  When dictator Pinochet began implementing his method of drug control, by conducting mass executions to kill drug capos and traffickers, Colombia was a pragmatic, logistical choice to move the cocaine operation.

Although “Narcos” does not venture back to the genesis of his “career”, Escobar began his criminality by stealing tombstone from cemeteries, sanding the stone to remove personal data, and then reselling them to Panamanian smugglers.  From tombstones he switched to trafficking electronics, liquor, and other contraband, developing a successful operation of secure routes, including transborder crossings.  Using Plata o Plomo (silver or lead) offering to gain participation of authorities allowing him to cross goods unchallenged. 

Escobar eventually controlled over 80% of the cocaine shipped to the U.S. He was named one of the ten richest people on earth by Fortune and Forbes magazines. By the early 90s Escobar amassed a 30 billion dollar fortune, so much money, and no place to keep it.  He resorted to burying a fortune, 1 million plus in barrels.

He was known and  loved by the poor in Colombia, as a modern day Robin Hood.  His interest in helping people was sincere in a way that said he sincerely cared about marginalized people.  His gifts were legendary, building 100’s of home at a time for the poor, paying for food, medical, but it was that same concern that was his downfall.

Most capos want nothing to do with running a government, if they have good control to conduct business that is optimal.  Escobar was unique; he wanted to control the government.   His  claim; he needed to be directly involved with government operations, to better his position in helping the poor. in Colombia.  

Incredibly he made it to congress, not without using a duplicitous scheming and threats, and had his eye on the presidency.

At the end of his narco reign he had; murdered half of the sitting supreme court, three Colombian presidential candidates, an attorney general, a justice minister, 214 judges, dozens of journalists, more than 1,000 police officers, and an Escobar bomb was detonated on a commercial aircraft, killing 111 people.

In a negotiated deal with the President, he also had the American-Colombian extradition treaty of 1979 nullified, in exchange for giving himself up.  

The new president was pushed into a corner by Escobar.  The country was inundated with violence that sequenced one new terror after another.  These acts of terror included the usual narco criminality, but at a level never witnessed prior.  

Murder often included innocents, and not in the sense of collateral damage, it was planned executions, there was no exemption for children.

When Escobar escalated the violence, there were bombings, kidnapping of children, the detonation of an Avianca Aircraft killing 111 passengers and crew.  The president made a deal with the devil to stop the violence.

Included in the pact, was his demand that he serve time in a prison,  one he would design, build and hire all personnel. 

“The Castle” as the prison was known, was an operational base for Escobar, with ongoing parties, prostitutes and life as usual.  His downfall came, when he began murdering people at the prison.

After one year in prison, Escobar “escaped” during a shootout, followed by several more months on the run, he was shot to death by members of a special police unit in 1993.

Escobar was a unique drug lord, unrivaled by any capo before or since. By the way Escobar was also a “chapo”, his short stature measured 5’5”.

The post that follows is an Escobar family update from Xpat . 

Maria Victoria Henao Vellejo

Maria met Pablo Escobar when she was only 13 years old. Back then, Escobar was 24 years old. They started dating immediately, even though her family did not approve of their relationship.

They were married two years later in 1976. Though Escobar is known for his extravagant affairs and countless mistresses, Maria never abandoned him.

Nobody truly knew of their relationship, but it was speculated that Maria was infatuated with luxury. A $25 billion (US) net worth doesn’t seem so bad then, hmm?

Exiled in Argentina, Maria Victoria Henao Vellejo changed her name to Maria Isabel Santos Caballero.

She and her two children lived a quiet middle-class life in a Buenos Aires apartment, equipped with multiple housekeepers. In 1999, five years into their new life, word got out in Argentina of who they really were.

The mug that came back to haunt him
In 2000, Maria Victoria and her son were arrested on money laundering charges. Escobar’s widow was allegedly receiving illegally earned money from Colombian drug lords in Uruguay.

Henao Vellejo was held in Argentine jail for 15 months along with her son, (interestingly, longer than Pablo had ever spent incarcerated), until authorities released them based on insufficient evidence.

A team of lawyers tried charging the two on anything, including drug trafficking, but eventually came up with nothing.

Escobar’s widow commented: “I am a prisoner in Argentina for being Colombian. They want to try the ghost of Pablo Escobar because they want to prove that Argentina is combating drug trafficking”.

Juan Pablo Escobar Henao, Son

Pablo Escobar’s son not only inherited his last name, but also his first name and his facial features. Such a dangerous combination, when trying to start over with a new identity. In exile, he became known as Juan Sebastian Marroquín Santos. Even since his true identity was released, Juan has held on to his feaux name.

Juan Sebastian has always been a pacifist. He loved his father, but he never agreed with the violence he stirred up in Colombia.

Born in 1977, Juan understood what his father was doing in the cocaine trade of the 1980s and early 1990s. Although the two were very close, Escobar’s son disapproved of his father’s actions while the drug lord was alive. In fact, U.S. and Colombian agents located Escobar, on that fateful December night, from tracking a phone call between father and son.
Valeria Vélez', character is in reality Pablo's mistress, journalist  Virginia Vallejo.
Vallejo turned informant and given asylum in the United States

Escobar relayed in that conversation that he was surrendering to the police in dedication to his son.

Relocating to Argentina in his late teens, Juan Sebastian entered school to become an architect. He enjoyed his new quiet life free of surrounding gunfire and fear. But he never quite felt comfortable living a lie. None of his friends or colleagues knew who he was. While that was a relief to some extent, he also felt guilty

In 2009, Escobar’s son released a documentary called Sins of my father (Pecados de mi padre), along with the help of his mother and two victims of his father’s terror. In this work, Juan finally revealed all his secrets. He reached out to his father’s victims, the Colombian people, and to the whole world to apologize for his father’s actions.

Instead of fueling the cycle of revenge and murder, Pablo Escobar’s pacifist son is seeking dialogue, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Manuela Escobar Henao, Daughter

Manuela, Pablo Escobar’s daughter, has remained a more mysterious figure than her brother and mother. While the other two have conceded interviews and produced a documentary, Manuela has shied from the public eye. More was known about her as a little girl before her father’s death than is known today.

Born in 1984, Manuela’s life with her father was cut short. Escobar’s acquaintances—the survivors, anyway—recall Manuela as her father’s spoiled little princess.

When Escobar’s daughter wanted a unicorn, he bought her a horse and stapled (yes, stapled) a cone to its head and wings to its back (the horse died from an infection).

When Manuela asked her father how much a billion dollars was, he responded “the value of your eyes, my princess.” Escobar even forced one of his mistresses to get an abortion when she became pregnant. Why? Because the drug lord had promised his daughter that she would be the last of his line. Whatever Manuela wanted, Manuela got…except for a life of peace and safety.

Always on the run, Manuela was accustomed to a life of instability and danger. In Argentina, she changed her name to Juana Manuela Marroquin Santos.

At just ten years old, she had to uproot her entire life and pretend to be someone else. She went to school—on public transportation nonetheless—and started anew in Buenos Aires. Everything came crashing down a mere five years later, just like it had in December 1993. Now everyone knew who she was, and she was stripped yet again of the existence she had known.

Not much information about Manuela has been recorded since. Now as a 31-year-old, she lives away from the spotlight and it seems she will keep it that way.

Below is the 2nd trailer.  YT has the series but in Spanish, if you don't have access to Netflix, just check with YT for the next few weeks, someone may post the series.


  1. Damn good series with horrible endings even for a drug sniffing dog.

  2. Wow,that's the first photo of manuelita show her since was young...the look good

  3. The Netflix series, while far from a cinematic masterpiece, is certainly entertaining, especially for fans of BB like myself who enjoy to soaking up as much narco info as they can.

  4. Replies
    1. OK, but what is that- tv on demand. Really, I'm not kidding. I feel like the kid left out of the joke here.

    2. 10:59 you can watch TV programming and films on your schedule through many devices, TV-computer, tablet apps, xbox, Roku, apple, firestick, smart TV

      I may add if you subscribe to Amazon Prime for shopping you also have access to tv programmin and 100s of 1000s tv, films etc. amzon's instant video can cost 1.99 for a program but most of the programming and films are free.

      Netflex is the much improved DVD rental house which delivered thru the mail. (do they still do that?) but has evolved to a much broader ranger of programming and present "original netflix programming" and that is what this series is.

      it is called streaming. if you want to try it on your computer free for a month go to Netlix.Com sign up for the free month.

      you will have to give a credit card, but unlike just about every other vendor, they will email you 2 days before the 30 days is up and ask if you want to continue or cancel. if you continue you can pick a plan.

      if you don't, just cancel no charges will apply and meanwhile you can watch some great entertainment. and the entire series of Narcos, for free.

    3. Thanks for the info, Chivis. Really. I'm still so confused I'll probably just keep on buying the piratas in the streets.

      One Old Fart

    4. awwww, I think I gave you too much info. my kids think it is amazing how computer savy I am and especially that I text. Apparently people after 50 are brain dead to new communication tech. :)

      but seriously you are missing out my friend, and if you take baby steps you will not regret it. Why not write to me privately You will really enjoy it. give it a try. I don;t know how much time you have to watch programming, but that is the awesomeness of watching streaming programming, it is when YOUR schedule allows on your time. I would not be able to watch anything much.

  5. How many people in Hollywood entertainment are currently doing cocaine.? Actors,producer's,writers,directors,agents,ect.

    1. is that a serious question? you think all actors. etc "do cocaine"? probably not so much. but heroin, RX, Met and Mota is used. but not that much more than general population. A little higher but in the porn industry it is in the majority.

      alcohol is the big drug problem. and AA meetings are conducted on sets.

    2. Wow,you must be a really popular person to know what 120,000 Plus SAG/AFTRA actors are doing! Not to mention the other 400,000 jobs that are involved in the film industry in Los Angeles. This article was about Pablo Escobar,not about El CHAPO .Cocaine is used in the entertainment industry and that's the way the cookie crumble s....

    3. Actors will do anything with anybody anytime, it just takes a glance...
      --Many actresses too.

    4. There are no more actors using cocaine than there are dishwashers using cocaine. Study after study has concluded that throughout any profession (doctors, lawyers, actors, garbage men) that the addiction rate is roughly 10%. The moral of the story: drugs dont care what you do for a living.

    5. 4:34 garbage collectors, dishwashers and the like do not have millions of dollars to spend on support teams, doctors lawyers, treatment centers, impunity, yes men and yes women, and available temptations, etc etc etc...

    6. Cocaine kinda does's expensive as hell if you plan on making a habit of it.

    7. The entertainment industry also creates thousands of jobs supplying and hooking up the moneyed artists, and catering to their every need, it's not easy...

  6. That was the first season, I think there will be more, I hope. U are right the ending was bad but I think there will be more. Covering the killing of Pablo and the rise of the Cali cartel. Later maybe Mexico?

    1. The ending bad? Literally, or creatively? I thought it well done cliff hanger. Although we do know what happens.

      Yes, Netflix picked up season 2 another 10 episodes. Does anyone know if the series develops a continuum into the present day drug war of Mexico? Now that will be an outstanding series if so. I guess that depends on how my seasons are picked up. I am usually bored with Hollywood made narco films, I find myself critiquing accuracy. But I heard from many people to watch it, that I would not be disappointed. And I wasn't.

      we know too much

    2. I would assume it does keep blew through most of Escobar in 10 episodes....after he leaves prison he dies in a year or two at most...I really hope it tells the story of the shift from Colombia to mex in terms of power....and then pics up stories of big MX capos....that would be interesting as Escobar is, it's been done to death...every BB reader can probably recite his biography by heart

    3. The most interesting part will be left out, how 5he colombian drug trade got rescued from the dirty colombian drug trafficker pablo escobar by dirty colombian drug traffickers that even get made "presidentes" for the help and get to keep their 10% free of problems, until some Venezuelan or Nicaraguan or other sore ass starts talking...or catching the planes...or trafficking for themselves...

  7. Why are we Latin people so gullible and stupid? Instead of focusing on people who really make a positive difference in our countries we let the media glorify these cucarachas with their bullets, killings, and terrorist activities. We deserve the lives we have, the streets we inherit from our parents with all the drugs and assassinations, robberies and sicairos infested cities. Pinochet had it right, all the right wing dictators have it right, the Castros had it right, you must kill and kill some more in order to stop all this madness in our midst. But nobody in Mexico has the guebos...they are all busy stealing money from the common citizen...while the common citizen is hiding in his house watching a lot of BS on TV, and waiting for a rotten system to fix itself. hahahaha! Pobres pendejos! Well deserved!

    1. "Latin people" ok. No way you are Mexican, or Latino. I bet you think people in Mexico speak Mexican and "illegals" should speak "American" when in the states? right pal?

      If you think this is a glorification you need to put the pipe away. There was no glory in this scenario.

      This is history about the same subject you are addicted to and come here to feed your addiction.

      Pinochet had it right? the dictator? who died before he went on trial for genocide and terrorism’? who killed innocents and bad guys est 10-30 thousand? and tortured 30k more? in a nation population of 14M at the time? about the same as Pennsylvania?

      Yes this is what you get when extrajudicial killings are cheered for, promoted and allowed. It gives governments the right to kill when motivated by any reason, to stamp out activism, human rights, control a nation by terror FOR ANY REASON.

      Get it dum dum latin man?

    2. @10:57PM

      You should start with the Real Academia Espanola and don't look back keep going.

    3. 8:26 "my parents" did not inherit me any streets filled with drugs and deaths of murdered people...
      --the mexican DFS and Policia Judicial Federal working for the CIA and "Our Man in Mexico" (google) a Win Scott, US Ambassador, In the name of fighting a non-existent communism, they spread drug trafficking all over mexico and to the US...
      --by the time it blew over during iran/contra, it had been going on for more than 20 years, so, do not blame my parents for your inheritance...

    4. Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez demanded venezuela's gold be returned to venezuela, and it returned, youtube.
      With it, blockade returned, the usual bullshit, "we slam a little country on the wall once in a while" for practice or whatever...henry kissinger, he also fixed the democratically elected chilean government because "the US is not going to accept a mistake of a people that does not know how to elect their government"...
      Pinochet, like Efrain Rios montt the junta members of argentina, batista, the somozas, etc etc etc have not delivered one bit of improvement to their peoples, under the PAX AMERICANA, with economic help and foreign aid, nothing has ever helped the banana republics but to be regarded as limosneros, beggars, dependent on the goodwill of the masters, it did not start with "venezuelan animals"...
      --the School of the Americas started much sooner than that...

  8. Yea the series isn't that bad. Keeps you entertained and you learn a little haha

  9. @Lucio, there is another series called --El señor de los cielos--The Lord of the skies--
    I think is the continuation of drug dealing after Escobar death, Armando casillas is Amado carrillo fuentes is tought the he was way richer than Pablo Escobar, donnot yet if is translated to english..

  10. Sorry, me again.

    Is that Mark Ruffalo?

  11. I already knew all dis i livd it now I Mexico trabajando con Los mejicanos

  12. kinda shows a glimpse of how things run in mexico with these cartels

  13. Pablo Escobar El Patron Del Mal is a much better and more detailed series.

    If you are going to check out the Netflix original series on Pablo Escobar definitely check out that one as well. It's also on Netflix

  14. if you wanna know the Mexican side go to : the lord of the skies, this is awesome series in telemundo, you can watch them on youtube too.

  15. I thought the best quote from the series was when the CIA were talking to the Colombian president and say to him "the united states don't intercept civilian phone calls, that absurd". Lol and he said it with a straight face.

    1. Florida cops were murdering drug traffickers to merchandize the drugs themselves not long ago, remember?

    2. Looks like BIIG BRICKS OF GRIFA look like tombstones, traded for merchandise to contraband created the seed money, same with the mexican gulf cartel

  16. Chivis agreed she would send me any and all comments to me that she, for whatever reason, chose not to post. This is one I am posting to answer the author:

    “Lucio you criminal romanticizing piece of shit what kind of article is this? "helping the poor" lmao. He blew up a fucking civilian airplane just to get one guy and detonated countless bombs right in the streets killing countless innocent as well. Fucking scumbag should've been caught alive and starved to death he got off way too easy. -Mike Haggar”

    Dear Mr. Haggar

    I agree with your summation

    Maybe with the exception of the personal attack against me. based on a post I authored.

    Perhaps if you knew me personally you would still conclude I am a “romanticizing piece of shit”, and “scumbag”. The point is, it is grossly unfair to personally attack us Borderland Beat contributors. Your comment will reach a larger viewership, and have greater respect if you present it in a respectable manner. Can we agree on that?

    Now to the root of your contempt. In my humble opinion, Escobar was a sociopathic force that was on track in becoming and capable of becoming a mass murdering tyrant. Make no mistake; he was fearless brilliant strategist, with exceptional perspicacity, capable of picking up cues from situations and others. He used this ability for evil. In the article I highlight the atrocities you mentioned. But one cannot deny the truth.

    Just as we may not like to acknowledge any acts from evil that may be perceived as good. But I feel strongly against rewriting history. To do so is presenting a false narrative, which impedes us from fully understanding the complexity of the situation.

    He did in fact build colonies of homes from the poor, and help with medical, education among other assistance. That is a fact. I am not going ignore it. One may say, yes but what evil and wrong brought forth the funds? And one would be completely in line with what is a rightful and fair analysis of the actions by Escobar.

    For what it is worth those are my thoughts. I stick by what I have written, romanticizing is in the eye of the beholder, I don’t romanticize any character from organized crime. I was born and raised in ground zero of narcoism, and the terror it brings. My family; grandmother, siblings, cousins, aunts, remain in the darkest places of Guerrero, Sinaloa and Sonora. Suggesting I would romanticize the life of a narco, would be humorous, if the thought were not so hideous. L.R.

    1. lucio, a crappy commenter dos not have a right other than to be put in his place, in full view of the public, there some that get away with murder just because they write nice or 'educated' and are manipulators, POSting propaganda or misleadimg information.
      --i would never suggest their comments not be posted, i only suggest that a response be allowed.
      --i also think that pablo escobar was a better person than those who persecuted and betrayed him, even becoming drug trafficking presidents of colombia, and he would have done better for the colombians than protect another airplane bomber, luis posada carriles, condecorated cuban, CIA agent, convicted terrorist...
      --everybody finds romance where we can, i guess...

    2. Lucio

      Nicely done sir! My respect bumped up even higher. @12:42, I can't speak for BB or Lucio but I think it was not the contents so much as the personal attacks. But I like the way he keeps his composure and explains to Mike Haggar they really are not thinking that much differently about Pablo but he chooses to give full disclosure.



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