In 1993 Pablo Escobar was hunted down on the rooftop of a house after he brought Colombia to her knees in late 1980’s and beginning of the1990’s. Nevertheless, even 15 years later, Escobar’s family continue disturbing many Colombians as well as foreigners. Escobar’s relatives are not hurting the country through the drug trade but have now taken other routes that prey on press sensationalism and people’s ignorance.
The most amusing of the godfather’s relatives is his brother Roberto Escobar, who claims to have found a cure for AIDS. Obviously he is reluctant to send prove of the finding to US laboratories unless he is present because he fears the loss of the patent. The US embassy granting a visa is of course out of the question. The US is categorically against granting visas to the relatives of drug lords who do not have information compromising US allies in the Colombian government if they remain in the country.
Therefore, Roberto’s “scientific team” have started contacting Michelle Obama in order to obtain more help in getting the AIDS cure recognized. Unfortunately, for Roberto, and fortunately for Colombians, she is too busy with her organic kitchen garden and selecting her most obscenely expensive sneakers to feed the poor, to pay any attention to these letters.
The Escobar surname would not have reached its stature had it not been for the scamming skills and the understanding of human naivety of the principal name holder. Naturally, Roberto decided to team up with a charlatan from Costa Rica to publicize his cure and raise funds, especially from desperate AIDS sufferers. The conman claims to be Pablo Escobar’s long lost son, Pablo Escobar Jr. Conveniently, Escobar Jr., whose real name appears to be Juan Pablo Rodríguez, is a rapper who wants to run his own record company.
The scam of Pablo Escobar Jr. could have been very easily deciphered without the widespread media scrutiny that this individual has attracted in the US and Colombia. Such lack of journalistic professionalism has only played in the hands of these sketchy individuals. Everyone should know that Escobar’s genes lead to more sinister acts as Jose Obdulio Gaviria, Pablo Escobar’s cousin has demonstrated.
Gaviria, who until recently was president Uribe’s closest assessor, has been allegedly behind the illegal wiretapping by the Colombian security agency (DAS) to the opposition, judges and journalists. Yet, he cannot be investigated by the Inspector General because he was never a government official. Incidentally, Alvaro Uribe’s genealogy also links him to Pablo Escobar, although this goes back six generations.
Escobar’s relatives may not be to blame on their totality for devising ways in which to continue reviving the memories of Pablo Escobar atrocities. After all, scams are an everyday element in Colombia. However, it appears that it is the media with is sensationalism that ignites the controversies. But since it takes two to tango it is obvious that these delinquents would not have received any interest if it was not for people’s gullibility.
Author Sebastian Castaneda is Colombian and lives in Hong Kong