Many children, unfortunately, find themselves part of a drug dealing family. Often times, these kids are victims of crime, neglect, and an unstable life. Drug dealers’ children find themselves in danger and surrounded by drugs and violence, no matter how hard the parent tries to protect them. Sometimes these children know no other way of life, and they may not know the danger that they or their parents are in.
Now, imagine you are the son of a drug lord, and not just any drug lord, but arguably the most notorious drug lord in history. Pablo Escobar, the feared leader of a Colombian cartel, had a family. His son, Juan Pablo has recently stepped forward to tell about his life as the son of a drug lord.
Pablo Escobar’s Cartel
Pablo Escobar was responsible for setting up the Medellin cartel in the 1970’s, selling billions of dollars of cocaine. In the 1980’s, it was estimated that 80% of the world’s cocaine came through his cartel. He was ranked the world’s 7th richest man in 1989. Escobar was also responsible for the deaths of thousands, including politicians, journalists, and police officers that stood in his way. He struck fear in the lives of many that came in contact with him, and he manipulated anyone he could to further his empire.
But Pablo Escobar was also a husband and a father. His family was well taken care of, and they had great wealth available to them. A private zoo, speedboats, jet skis, helicopters, and private mansions were among his wealth. His son has memories of time spent with his father, and the knowledge that his father would go to great lengths to ensure his family was safe and kept separate from the business. But being the son of a drug lord is a different kind of life, and Pablo learned to shoot a gun at a young age, took self-defense classes, and was isolated from the rest of the world for his own safety.
When Escobar was taken to prison, later escaped from prison, and was living as a fugitive, his family also had to go on the run. Pablo, his mother, and his sister traveled from country to country, looking for safety. When Escobar was killed by police in 1993, the family went into hiding for fear of revenge from the victims’ families.
Pablo has changed his name to Sebastian Marroquin and has found refuge in Argentina. He will forever be known as the drug lord’s son, but he has renounced his father’s business. He is working now to make amends with the sons of the men his father killed. The documentary Los Pecados de mi Padre (The Sins of My Father) tells his story.
We know drugs and drug dealing destroys lives, but we often forget about the children. They don’t ask to be put in their situation and they are certainly not accomplices. The story of Juan Pablo gives us a little insight to the trials of a child growing up among in the drug business.