Born In: Panama
Manuela Escobar is the only daughter of notorious yesteryear Colombian drug lord and narco-terrorist Pablo Escobar, often referred as ‘The King of Cocaine’. Her life so far is no less than a thrilling story as she experienced things that one would probably never imagine in the wildest of dreams. She was the apple of her father’s eye. Pablo Escobar, considered the wealthiest criminal in history, would go to any extent to fulfil even the smallest wishes of his daughter. It was also rumoured that once he burned $2 million to keep his little princess warm. Manuela who was then considered a spoilt little girl of her daddy had all the lavishness of the world in her little hands. However, this fairy tale life ended when her father was shot and killed by Colombian National Police when she was just nine years old. Things changed drastically following her father’s death that saw her fleeing from Colombia with her mother and brother to escape reprisals. The three of them travelled to different places including Brazil, Ecuador, South Africa and Peru before taking refuge in Argentina. Manuela changed her name to Juana Manuela Marroquin Santos and since then has almost led a quiet and private life away from the limelight.
Born Country: Panama
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Manuela Escobar was born on May 25, 1984, to Pablo Escobar and his wife, Maria Victoria Henao, as the younger of their two children. Her elder brother, Juan Pablo Escobar Henao, who grew up to be an architect and author, has also changed his name to Sebastián Marroquín. Unlike children of her age, Manuela led a rather different life that saw her getting homeschooled instead of attending a public school. Such step was taken to ensure her safety from her father’s foes. In fact, on January 13, 1988, she experienced an almost deaf situation when a murder attempt was made on her father that saw a car bomb explosion at their Monaco apartment building. Pablo apparently blamed Colombian drug trafficker, Hélmer Herrera, for such attack.
Manuela Escobar lived like a princess when her father was alive. Pablo Escobar was a doting father who would pamper his children and literally go to any length to carry out their wishes. Once she wanted a unicorn as her birthday present. Although an impossible proposition, the loving father that Pablo was, he created a unicorn out of a horse for his daughter. A cow’s horn was stapled on the forehead of the horse and wings were attached to its back. The horse, however, succumbed to infection in this process. It was also speculated that while hiding with his family in the Medellin mountainside, Manuela’s father burned stacks of dollar bills worth around $2.0 million to protect her from hypothermia. According to sources, when the darling daughter enquired about the value of a billion dollars the doting father said “the value of your eyes, my princess”. Sources also reveal that her father once gave her word that she will be the last of his line. Pablo loved his daughter so much that he kept his words by making one of his mistresses abort her baby.
Manuela Escobar’s life took a different turn when Pablo Escobar was shot dead in a shootout by the Colombian National Police on December 2, 1993. She had to leave behind all the opulence of her life and flee from Colombia in 1995 with her mother, Maria Victoria Henao presently known as María Isabel Santos Caballero, and brother, Juan. In pursuit of escaping from reprisals of her father’s enemies, the family first fled to Mozambique and thereafter to Brazil. Moving from country to country seeking asylum, the family arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on tourist visas and finally settled there as citizens in exile from Colombia.
Manuela Escobar started her new life as Juana Manuela Marroquin Santos in Argentina with her mother and brother who also adopted new names. The little girl was so attached with her father that she would sleep with the shirt Pablo wore on his last day. She also used to keep a piece of beard from Pablo under her pillow. In Argentina she started going to school with her brother while her mother gradually became a successful real estate entrepreneur. However, as things started to normalise, one of her mother’s business associates discovered her mother’s real identity following which Henao absconded with her earnings. Henao was tracked down, incarcerated for one and a half year while her funds were investigated. As the authorities couldn’t find any association of her finances with any illegal activity, Henao was released. However, this incident and revelation of identity of her family affected the life of Manuela Escobar once again who rolled herself back to the four walls of her home and refused to go back to school. She was thereafter given private classes at home.
Not much is known about Manuela Escobar’s present life as it seems that she has chosen to stay away from the spotlight. Although the years that followed saw her mother and brother speaking to the media several times. Her brother, Sebastián Marroquín, also published a book, Pablo Escobar: My Father, in 2014 under the name Juan Pablo Escobar, but Manuela has maintained a long silence. She is also not active on social media and seems to be content living a quiet life with her new identity away from the dark shadows of her past.
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