Juan Pablo Escobar delves deep into his relationship with his father, crime, corruption, revenge, destruction, the cartel, and addiction to power.
Interview by Ben Farrin
Hello Juan, thank you for your time! Where are you and what can you see?
I’m sat at my dining table on my computer.
I’ve read you went to Universidad de Palermo, a private university in Buenos Aires, Argentina. What did you study?
I studied Architecture and I’m also an Industrial Designer.
What is the education system like in Colombia?
A privilege, not a right.
I understand you give a lot of lectures to teenagers in Mexico, making them aware of the consequences of being involved in the drug trafficking business. Can you tell us a bit more about these Talks?
Kids are seeing my father as an example to follow, thanks to the Narco’s series. My job is to invite them to change their way of thinking, once I can show them the real consequences of this story.
What was your relationship like with your father; Pablo Escobar as a child and a teenager?
The best of friends, always.
At what point did you realise what was going on with your father and that he was the boss of the Cartel?
He told me when I was 7 years old. His words were “I’m a bandit.”
Pablo Escobar had enemies, but he also had a lot of respect from many communities he supported. Did you look up to him as a role model, and was there ever a risk that you would get more involved with the Cartel?
There’s a risk every day. But every day I will say no thank you.
Are you and your family forever protected by the Cartel nowadays, and do you get any problems because you are his son?
It seems like just for being “the son of” there are a lot of corrupt politicians, judges, and policemen who could try to cause harm to me. They believe (it doesn’t matter if they are wrong) that I should be responsible for the sins of my father. The law says: we the parents are responsible for our kids. But for me, for my world, the law says: you the son, come and pay for your father’s debts.
What are your fondest memories of your father?
He always gave me good advice and lots of love.
With the enormous profits being made, Pablo Escobar built a huge luxury house containing a zoo, a lake, a sculpture garden, and a private bullring. I presume you’ve seen a lot in your lifetime. Are you able to explain what your life and lifestyle was like as a boy and a young man?
In his last days, I was starving with my father next to 4 million dollars in cash. That’s the sad reality behind the scenes of the TV that nobody sees. My father was the richest and the poorest person at the same time. He had it all, but he couldn’t enjoy anything.
You’ve written a couple of books about your life. Are you able to give us an insight into these and the detail they go into?
One, “the son of” – and the last one, called “Pablo Escobar In Fraganti” – was a deep research about my father, where I gave voice to my father’s worst enemies. You can only find stories that no one should ever dare to repeat.
What do you think were your father’s motives?
Ambition. Addiction to Power. Hate. Revenge. Destruction. Disrespect to the law and to the Human Values.
What was it all for?
To thank my father, for showing us the path we should not take.
Who in your opinion truly runs the world?
The money first. The political Mafia behind.
What in your opinion is the key to happiness?
Be humble, and happiness will come to your life. Because you will feel gratitude for the air you breathe, for the eyes you have, for the life that was given to you, for the trees, the sun, the moon, or the soul. For the raining days, that’s when we have to thank more.
What are your goals in life?
Live in peace with the world; with the past, the present, and the future. With the love of my wife, I want to raise my son with respect, good examples, and motivations. Stay out of trouble for life. Don’t even think to commit a crime – that sounds like my mantra.
What advice would you give to anyone who might be involved or thinking of getting involved in crime no matter how big or small?
Pay attention to the real story, it is not about a success case. It’s about a man who sadly didn’t use his intelligence for good, and destroyed himself, along with many innocent victims.