BOGOTA, Colombia – The widow of Pablo Escobar fell head over heels in love as a preteen with the person who would rise to be a ruthless drug lord, however she says she felt raped when at age 14 he pressured her to have a clandestine abortion, and over time got here to view him as a merciless psychopath.
The revelation is available in a memoir, “My Life and My Jail With Pablo Escobar,” by which Maria Henao for the primary time opens up about her life alongside one of many world’s most ruthless criminals, portraying herself extra as a sufferer of the boundless violence of the Medellin cartel boss than as an confederate to his lawbreaking.
Within the ebook’s epilogue, titled “The key I’ve held for years,” Henao describes being taken by Escobar to a ramshackle clinic and mendacity down on a stretcher whereas an aged girl inserted a number of plastic tubes into her womb. She says she did not know she was pregnant and was instructed it was only a technique of being pregnant prevention. Over a number of days she endured bleeding and intense ache as a being pregnant was aborted. With time, and far remedy, she says she got here to view the expertise as a “violation.”
She writes that she had been “paralyzed” with concern the primary time Escobar was intimate together with her. “I wasn’t prepared, I didn’t really feel sexual malice, I didn’t have the required instruments to grasp what this intimate and intense contact meant,” she says.
Speaking of the abortion, one thing she had stored even from her youngsters till now, she says, “I needed to join with my historical past and immerse myself within the depths of my soul, to seek out the braveness to disclose the unhappy secret that I’ve harbored for 44 years.”
Henao says she determined to interrupt her lengthy silence and write the 523-page ebook with the hope that youthful generations of Colombians would see how a lot blood has spilled in Colombia on account of its cocaine enterprise.
However additionally it is a page-turner that gives an intimate take a look at Escobar’s quick evolution from a small-time grave robber to one of many world’s most wished fugitives.
Henao says she met Escobar when she was 12. She got here from an upstanding, conventional household within the Envigado district close to Medellin and disobeyed her mother and father by falling in love with Escobar, the son of a poor watchman who rode round their neighborhood in a flashy Vespa motorbike and was 11 years her senior.
Throughout a courtship that led to marriage when Henao was 15, Escobar showered her with items like a yellow bicycle and serenades of romantic ballads.
“He made me really feel like a fairy princess and I used to be satisfied he was my Prince Charming,” she writes.
However from the beginning there have been lengthy, unexplained absences and he incessantly flirted with different ladies. As Escobar started to amass a fortune, he additionally turned manipulative and paranoid, she says.
Henao insists she was largely stored at midnight about particulars of his felony actions and says she escaped from the “inferno” of dwelling alongside Escobar by creating another world dedicated to their two youngsters and accumulating costly artworks by the likes of Dali and Rodin.
After the Medellin cartel’s 1984 assassination of Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara, Escobar went into hiding and waged a bloody battle with the state that included killing a presidential candidate and blowing up a business jetliner. Over a lot of the subsequent decade, till Escobar died throughout a 1993 rooftop shootout with police, the household’s contact with the kingpin consisted of quick visits to secure homes the place Henao and her youngsters arrived blindfolded and had been escorted by Escobar’s military of assassins.
In an interview Wednesday with Colombia’s W Radio earlier than the Nov. 15 publication of the ebook, Henao began off by apologizing to Colombians for what she mentioned was the big injury her husband brought about the nation. Referring to him all through the interview as “Pablo Escobar,” she mentioned she felt a mixture of ache, profound embarrassment and disappointment with the person who had been the love of her life.
“I selected to bear all of this ache to guard my youngsters,” she mentioned.
After Escobar was killed, Henao started a frenzied seek for asylum, fearing that his many enemies would extract revenge and kill her youngsters. After being turned down by Germany and Mozambique, amongst different international locations, they settled in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and altered their names.
There, an try to guide a comparatively regular life was interrupted once they had been arrested in 1999 for cash laundering. They had been charged once more this yr for allegedly serving to a Colombian drug trafficker cover cash via actual property and a restaurant recognized for its tango performances. Henao denies any wrongdoing and mentioned as soon as once more that she and her youngsters are being unfairly focused due to their former final identify.
In 2009, Escobar’s son, who now goes by the identify Sebastian Marroquin, starred in a documentary by which he seeks to atone for his father’s sins by assembly with the orphaned sons of Lara and one other distinguished sufferer of his father’s cartel. The movie left Colombians transfixed and spurred a extra dispassionate take a look at Escobar’s position within the 1980s and 1990s drug wars.
However with the proliferation of books, the hit Netflix “Narcos” sequence, and excursions of Escobar’s former haunts in Medellin, some fear that the capo is being glorified by youthful Colombians who did not reside via the massacre.
And even 1 / 4 century after his dying, not everyone seems to be prepared to forgive.
Writing not too long ago within the newspaper El Tiempo, widespread columnist Maria Isabel Rueda mentioned that Henao’s ebook “is not the excuse of a sufferer, however of a shameless senora who knew completely effectively that she and her household swam in rivers of gold preceded by a flood of deaths.”
Joshua Goodman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjoshgoodman