A clothing collection inspired by Pablo Escobar will not be sold in Colombia as a “sign of respect” to victims of the drug lord’s violence, said the designer and son of Escobar, Sebastian Marroquin.
According to newspaper El Espectador, the clothing brand “Escobar Henao” consists of t-shirts with the identity of the former leader of Medellin‘s largest drug cartel stamped all over. The shirts show copies of original documents of Escobar, including his identification documents, credit cards, a criminal record certificate, photographs and even reproductions of his signature and fingerprint. Together they form part of the brand’s collection “Poder Poder” (Power Power), which was created by Escobar’s son at the beginning of 2012.
“It’s a self-criticism to the history of my father, and an invitation for the youth to be conscious of the dangers of entering the world of drugs and trafficking,” said Marroquin, 35, who currently lives in Argentina with his mother and sister under his new identity that he has had since he was 20 years old.
Marroquin recognizes that the shirts have not gone without criticism. For him the criticisms of the shirts showing the great late drug lord of Medellin’s cartel, who caused more than 4,000 victims between the 80’s and 90’s, were due to “hasty judgements.” Marroquin insists that through the brand he is inviting people to “not repeat history.”
In comparison, the president of a Colombian NGO that does social work in Medellin, Luis Fernando Quijano, said that showing the figure of Escobar can’t be good motivation for youth for it runs the risk of promoting him as a “hero.”
The shirts are being made in Colombia but will not be sold in the country as a “show of respect” to the victims of the violence. For Quijano this doesn’t make a difference because there are victims of the drug trafficking in “the whole world.”
The company “Escobar Henao” has already produced 10,000 shirts which are being sold on the Internet and in stores in the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Spain and Austria, for prices between $60 and $95.
“It is the first product that has used the image of Pablo Escobar as a vehicle of communication that looks to avoid his history being repeated and to create a social conscience,” said Marroquin.
“I’m absolutely aware of the irreparable damage that my father caused in society between the violence that he exerted and the trafficking of drugs,” he added.