I would like to share my personal thoughts on the second season with you, so that you will distrust the veracity of its contents.
I invite those who are seriously interested in learning the truth about my father and want to avoid the tedium of watching the series to read my book:
In the name of my country and in honor of the real truth about the events which occurred in the 1980´s and 1990´s, I feel an obligation to expose the very grave mistakes in a series which calls itself a truthful one, when in fact it is very far from that and thus is an insult to the history of a whole nation and very many victims and families.
1. Carlos Henao, R.I.P., was my maternal uncle and, not as portrayed in the series, any sort of narcotics-trafficker. In fact, he was a great man: hard-working, honest, noble and a fine family man. He was a close friend of my mother. He was a self-taught architect who helped to build a number of houses, roads and bridges on my father´s country estate, the Hacienda Nápoles, but he was never involved in illegal activities. He was never convicted for any crime, in Colombia or any other country.
He sold Bibles, plastic objects and mops. He always spoke about achieving peace, not war. He never wanted to attack anyone: he wanted to avoid problems. He was not a narcotics-trafficker and the people at Netflix are slandering him and thus all of us in his family, with total impunity and no concern at all. Carlos Henao was never a narcotics-trafficker and never lived in Miami. He was kidnapped and tortured, along with Francisco Toro, another innocent and decent man. How sad it is that Netflix has shown so many corpses with signs saying the “Pepes” did it but omit to show pictures of the body of my uncle Carlos, who suffered the same torture and public humiliation.
But as if that were not enough, they situate that event in a time and place which does not fit into the story of my father and make it look like his death was the result of a legitimate fight between the police and narcos, when, in reality, his death was unjust: it violated his right to a sound name and honorable reputation: that of a man who was my beloved uncle, respected by everyone in Medellín and irreproachable from start to finish. http://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/MAM-150654
2. My father was not a fan of the Atlético Nacional soccer team but Deportivo Independiente Medellín. If the script-writers don´t even know Pablo´s favorite team, how can they dare to tell the rest of a story and sell it as though if it were true? Does anything go for them?
3. La Quica (Dandenys Muñoz Mosquera) was arrested in New York on September 24, 1991, so that at the time of my father´s escape from La Catedral prison (July, 1992), he had already been detained in the United States for using false identity documents for quite a time. There, later on, he was unjustly accused and convicted for putting the bomb on the Avianca plane where more than 100 passengers and crew members were killed, the one the successor of Luis Carlos Galán, César Gaviria, was thought to be traveling on. Even the Colombian Attorney-General, Gustavo De Greiff, sent letters to the authorities in the United States to show that he was innocent, since, as my father also insisted, he had no part all in the bombing, which, in real life, was carried out by Carlos Castaño under the orders of my father according to what he said. Unfortunately, however, hatred is more effective than justice when it comes to seeking the truth.
4. As for my father´s escape from La Catedral: there wasn´t much of a firefight there, only a guard at the prison was killed. Those who were there did not fight each other. My father didn´t have any contacts with or help from the authorities for the escape. Instead, it took advantage of the construction of the prison itself; my father arranged for some bricks to be loosened. My father escaped because the government notified him that it wasn´t going to honor their agreement that he would never be transferred to another prison.
5. Limón was a worker for Roberto, alias “Osito” (the “little Bear”), my father´s elder brother. He worked as a driver for him for around 20 years. He didn´t turn up by accident, nor was he hired towards the end of my family´s story, but many years before. Since Limón worked for Roberto “el Osito”, (and believe it or not my father´s brother was an informant of the DEA), Roberto used him to discover first-hand information about the modus vivendi and activities of my father. I met Limón when he was driving the truck which took me to the La Catedral. Sadly and treacherously, “el Osito” worked against my father in the final stage of his life, when he supplied intelligence to Los Pepes and the DEA about the whereabouts of his brother and his brother´s wife and children.
6. It is not true that the cartels of Medellín and Cali made an agreement whereby the former would do its business in Miami and the latter in New York. The truth is that even today the exponential growth of the market for prohibited drugs continues to be so large that no single organization of narcos can fulfill the demands of the clients. There are millions of consumers and they pay whatever is asked to satisfy their hunger for drugs.
7. It wasn´t the CIA which urged the Castaño brothers to create Los Pepes . It was Carlos and Fidel Castaño who decided, with the complicity of the Cali Cartel and the domestic and foreign authorities who turned a blind eye to thousands of crimes and forced disappearances.
8. My mother never bought or used firearms. Everything about that is a lie. She never even shot off a gun.
9. My father did not personally kill the person who is called Colonel “Carrillo” in the series, the supposed head of the Search Bloc. He was responsible for many attacks on the Police in Colombia and more than 500 of them died in one month in the city of Medellín at the end of the 1980´s. I am not at all proud of my father´s violence and acknowledge that he did a lot of harm to the Police, just as he gave them a lot of money.
10. Those who are sufficiently knowledgeable about the story understand that my father made a grave mistake when he ordered the death of those who were his partners and moneylenders, Moncada and Galeano. The two were kidnapped by the Cali Cartel and to win their freedom and lives, they promised to betray Pablo and his men and comply with their demand to stop financing him. There were tapes of telephone conversations which showed this change of loyalties. Even so, my father decided to spare Moncada´s life at the last minute, but when he told his henchmen to halt the murder, it was already too late. And that was one of the crimes which played a decisive role in the fall and end of my father.
11. At the end of his life my father was alone, not surrounded by gangsters, as they show, since nearly all of his main henchmen, with the exception of the one whose aliases were “el Angelito” and “el Chopo” had either surrendered or been killed.
12. There were none of the luxuries they show in the period which followed his escape from La Catedral. We lived in slums, not mansions.
13. The story of the one they call “Leon” from Miami is a lie. He didn´t live in the United States and he was a man who was absolutely brave and loyal in the service of my father. He died after being kidnapped by the Castaño brothers in Medellín. He fell in battle in the name of my father, but he never sold him out, as they show.
14. My father never threatened the city of Cali. He issued a press release which pointed out that his wife and part of her family were from there, and for that reason, he didn´t have anything against its inhabitants.
15. Ricardo Prisco was already dead at the time he appears in the series. His brother was a doctor, a good man who was stigmatized by the acts of his brother, but he wasn´t a criminal. In real life, Ricardo had died a long time before.
16. My father never attacked Gilberto Rodríguez´s daughter, neither at her wedding or any other time. Nor did he attack any member of his family. That was the agreement, don´t touch the families and my father kept to it. I think they didn´t when, on January 13, 1988, they put a bomb in the Mónaco building where we were living with my little sister and mother.
17. My father never forced us to live a clandestine life. Along with my mother, he thought that the best thing was that we would get an education and find opportunities that my parents had never had.
18. We were only involved in one shoot-out with my father, but it wasn´t at all like what they show there. My book tells what it was really like.
19. Why do they show that my father´s bombings of the La Rebaja drugstore chain happened in 1993, when in fact they were between 1988 and 1989? That´s a little too anachronistic for one´s taste, don´t you agree?
20. My paternal grandmother betrayed my father and allied herself with her sons and daughters against us (just for money). They made a deal with the Pepes and collaborated with them so actively that they continued to live tranquilly in Colombia, while those of us who were loyal, because we loved our father, had to go into exile. I wish that the “tender” version of grandmother which they show in the series had really been true.
21. My trip to Germany didn´t happen like that. My paternal grandmother didn´t travel with us to any place.
22. The Colombian Attorney-General´s office didn´t want to help us that much either, not in the way they show De Greiff, who did play a role but wasn´t such a good guy. His office was completely infiltrated by the Cali Cartel, just like all the protection measures undertaken by his own agents. We were really hostages, kidnapped by our own State and our only crime was that we were related to Pablo Escobar. Two of us were minors and the other two women, all locked up in a small hotel room.
23. Virginia Vallejo was so in love with my father she wouldn´t take money from him? Those are two really big lies in one!
My mother never spoke with her after my father escaped from the Catedral. By then my father hadn´t had any contact with Virginia for nearly a decade, because she had been a lover of the heads of the Cali Cartel at the same time.
24. When were at the hotel Tequendama, my father didn´t send us telephones with anyone. We used the ones in the hotel. I hung up every time he rang me, to protect him, but he became capricious about that and stayed on the line for a longer time than was prudent, knowing that the call would be traced. “The telephone is death”, he told me all his life. For that reason, he no longer wanted to speak with me, because I´d cut off the call. So he asked to speak to my mother and sister and told the operator his two names and surnames, so that his calls were really to say goodbye, to spin out the final call for as long as possible, with the clear intention that the call would be traced on the day and at the place he´d chosen for his final battle, that is, Los Olivos neighborhood of his city, Medellín. As he had sworn to me many times, my father preferred to commit suicide. That is why I wasn´t surprised that the shot which killed him was by his own hand and fired from his own gun, at two millimeters from the spot where he´d told me he´d put it. The Police didn´t do it. Carlos Castaño organized the final operation, and no foreign agencies participated in it. Carlos Castaño himself said it out loud in front of my mother.
25. No journalist was assassinated in front of the Tequendama Hotel.
26. My father never mistreated his parents, much less his father, Abel. A conversation with that tone or meaning never took place.
27. After my father´s death, the Cali Cartel invited my mother to a meeting in that city where there were more than 40 of the biggest Mafia chiefs of Colombia at that time. The one who saved the lives of my mother and myself after his death was Miguel Rodríguez, not his brother Gilberto. On that occasion, they stripped us of the assets we inherited and they kept them and shared them out as war booty.
28. How is that that my grandmother tells my mother that she betrayed my father in the series? In real life, it was my paternal grandmother and her sons and daughters who had secret contacts with the Cali Cartel!
I won´t talk about the first season of the series because I don´t want to bore you with another long list of mistakes.
The world is definitively upside down and it´s obvious that anyone will tell these stories any way they like and to top it, they are a success no matter how badly told they are. Well, everyone has his own version, but if you want the true one, you already know where to find it:
Judge for yourselves. A hug in the name of Peace!!
Sebastian Marroquin (formerly Juan Pablo Escobar).