A story of forgiveness and reconciliation
Sebastian Marroquin’s name never meant anything in the public history of Colombia until a few months ago, when he decided to emerge from anonymity to light from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he lives the last 10 years.
Marroquín , who actually is the son of Colombia’s biggest criminal of all time Pablo Escobar Gaviria, is one of the protagonists of the documentary”Sins of My Father”to be presented for the first time in its entirety the next November 12 and will surely be a blockbuster that nobody should miss.
Until there all seem to indicate that this is another film about the story of the bloodiest Colombian drug lord, this time told by his own son. But not, to the surprise of many, the film shows Marroquin`s act of contrition, a “mea culpa” of a man of 27 who has had to live fleeing the shadow of his criminal father and who seeks to somehow remove a burden of conscience for the atrocities committed by Pablo Escobar.
Juan Pablo Escobar, who adopted the surname Marroquin to dissociate himself from this terrible stigma, being the son of Colombia’s worst man-died in 1992 – decided to apologize to four of the most famous victims of his father. The apologies are accepted and that is good for his own internal peace of mind and also is good for the fate of the film. That is the argument of a documentary that is sure to remove the entrails and the feelings of many people in Colombia.
I’m really surprised. Who could have imagined that an event like this could happen in Colombia, a country marked by the hate caused by the war against drug traficking , fought during the last three decades in Colombia. The answer is quite simple: nobody. Not even the most optimistic of the peace makers.
Twenty five years ago when Juan Pablo was barely 2 years old, his father Pablo Escobar ordered the assassination of the then Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, who was seeking to extradite him to America.
Five years later, in 1989, in another bloody situation the same Escobar ordered to kill the then-presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan Sarmiento, who kept the idea of sending/exradite Escobar to a U.S. federal prison.
The four victims were children, all under age 10, when Pablo Escobar changed their lives forever.
So it was big surprise for them when a yar ago, the four received and read (Senator Rodrigo Lara Restrepo and the three brothers Galan, Senator John Manuel Galan, the councilman, Carlos Fernando and Claudio) a five pages letter send by the son of Pablo Escobar expressing his feelings of guilt, regret and powerlessness by the crimes of his father against their parents and against an entire country.
Lara Restrepo and the Galan brothers are the other protagonists of the documentary”The Sins of My Father”, made by the Argentine director Nicolas Entel, who had the brilliant idea of making a parallel to the difficult lives of these five characters, especially that of Juan Pablo Escobar now known in Argentina as Sebastián Marroquín.
Dramatically, on the tape Marroquin tells how difficult it was for him to sit down and write a letter to four characters who he never saw before, but for over 15 years learned from them by the news media and because sooner or later when acquiring the necessary maturity, ending learning about all the crimes ordered by his late father.
Sebastian wrote them with his heart in his hand. With a lump in his throat and tears in his eyes thinking that his father was responsible for leaving them orphaned at an early age, when he was a child and when he had no use of reason and conscience to know what was happening and to have tried to avoid anything that his father did.
In one part of the documentary, when he met Rodrigo Lara in Buenos Aires, Marroquin expresses that”at the end we are all orphans”and the senator replied,”the past is hard. But the important thing is that you’re a good man, a man of peace. I am a good man, a man of peace. That is, “pa ‘lante hermano” (let us move forward,brother!).
It is perhaps one of the most exciting moments where it is evident the power of forgiveness and the power of repentance and sorrow.Who would have crossed his mind such great piece of historical reconciliation in Colombia. Nobody.
Who would have bet on a match/encounter between these five characters that when children were victims of the crudest and ruthless violence that unfortunately still exists in Colombia. Nobody.
So we all have to see ‘The Sins of My Father’ in order to understand precisely and in detail what it really meant the meeting of these five persons and therefore appreciate the importance of this to Colombia beyond the documentary itself, which surely will give plenty to talk about, both inside and outside Colombia.
Drug trafficking is fashionable
To say that drug trafficking is very popular in Colombia may be a mistake. But in the last 30 years the drug war have always been the main protagonist of the country. This social evil has penetrated all sectors of power, all the institutions. Has been installed in the high society of the country with absolute permissibility, according to the convenience of the situation, being the authorities blind and accomplices of what has been happeening. This drugtraficking has been able to corrupt the “most moral” of all Colombians.
So , since many years , it is not unusual to see on Colombian television several great TV series that goes along with the drug. The TV series are shamelessly apologetic of the narcos and the colombian government`s concern about what is going on, is very light The government does not move a finger to stop this social media phenomenon. After all, I would say, these kind of Tv series are now part of the idiosyncrasy of Colombia. It is difficult to face it, but all stories that deal with drug dealers in one way or another we like and feed our morbid curiosity.
It is incredible that the band Triple-A -where the largest television audience is-, is broadcasting today two TV series whose arguments revolve around the drug world and its vagaries. The “perfect” example for new generations. How ironic!
‘The Dolls of the Mafia’ and ‘The Capo’ are getting from two months ago the attention of an entire country, that, from Monday to Friday freezes for an hour every night to see how it develops the criminal world of drug trafficking with the beautiful women around the great lords and their henchmen. As if we had never lived it in reality.
One of th tv series reflects a slightly more modern and refined version of Pablo Escobar. Do not be diviner to discover that the name of the TV show is ‘The Capo’.
The other series is based on another bestseller of Andres Lopez, who is an admitted drug dealer who lives in Miami dedicated to writing books, half fiction half reality, about the world of drug trafficking and their women, so they called ‘The Dolls of the Mafia ‘.
And then we get shocked when we are stopped at an airport , just because a few criminals. Unfortunately the stigma of drug traffickers is a karma with which we must live for a long time because now the drug trade in Colombia is very active. On the contrary, every day seems to become stronger as the new drug bosses manage a lower profile, are less conspicuous and more organized. They are university graduates, some with very refined tastes with some important cultural interests.
And of course, all this with the subliminal support of the big TV and film networks, which do not stop their apology of this criminal activity , whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Unfortunately I think Colombia is now as far to end the drug traffic as when Pablo Escobar Gaviria lived and achieved the whole country to its knees. How sad!