Who is Sebastián Marroquín?
Sebastián Marroquín is a Colombian architect, entrepreneur and author who is better known as the son of late infamous Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar, who reportedly was in control of 80% of the global cocaine market at the height of his career. Many initially thought that the then 16-year-old boy would take over his father's drug business, as he had threatened to avenge his father's death in 1993. However, he carefully distanced himself from the Medellín Cartel and the illegal drug trade in Colombia, and considers the threat a mistake. Now an architect living in Argentina, he often travels the world to talk about his father, primarily the mistakes he made. He became a spokesperson of reconciliation in 2009, when he appeared in the Argentine documentary 'Sins of My Father', which contained footage of him meeting with and apologizing to the families and relatives of the victims his father had ordered to be assassinated. In 2014. he published the book 'Pablo Escobar: My Father’ under his birth name, Juan Pablo Escobar. He has stated that he intends to use the profits from his organic clothing line, 'Escobar Henao', to help his father's victims and Colombian charities.
Childhood & Early Life
Sebastián Marroquín was born as Juan Pablo Escobar Henao on February 24, 1977 in Medellín, Colombia. He is the first child of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and his wife Maria Victoria Henao. His mother was just 16 years old when he was born, and he has a younger sister named Manuela Escobar who was born in 1984. His father, despite being a drug dealer, had warned him against using it. His family led a lavish life till his father was shot dead by police in 1993, after which their family assets were seized, leaving the family broke.
His mother took the two siblings and fled to Mozambique, from where they traveled to Argentina on tourist visas and became citizens there. Juan Pablo, who believed that his name was cursed by a voodoo priest he encountered in Mozambique, decided to adapt the new name 'Sebastián Marroquín', which he found in the telephone book. He earned an industrial design degree from a private technical school and attended University of Palermo, from where he graduated with a degree in architecture. His sister, who had taken the new alias Juana, now lives in Central North Carolina and works as an Electrical Engineer.
While he had decided to detach himself from the violent life led by his father, he was involved in their family textile business which sold clothing products with his father's name and likeness to earn some extra money. They also tried in vain three times to register his father's name as a brand. He has teamed up with his mother, who had taken up the new identity Maria Isabel and began a career in interior decoration and coaching, to work on Nexo Urbano, a real estate company focused on urban development.
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According to Sebastián Marroquín, growing up among bandits made him aware of the pain they inflicted upon themselves and others around them. While his father had been too quick to use violence, he "never believed in violence as a way of solving conflicts" and chose a life of peace, reconciliation and forgiveness. However, it had not been an easy journey. He even questioned if being good was reasonable after he and his mother were arrested in Argentina in 2000 for laundering drug money. He was later acquitted, but his mother spent nearly two years in prison. This dug up his past identity and exposed him to unwanted public attention. Nevertheless, he took the moral responsibility for his father's crimes and decided to reach out to the victims of his father, which was documented in 'Sins of My Father' in 2009.
Love & Marriage
1990 in Medellín, when he was a fresh teenager at 13. The girl, 18 years old at the time, had fled Mexico as a child and was living in Colombia with her family. Reportedly, his father was against him dating a much older woman and wanted him to meet other women, which he declined. She showed her unwavering love for him when the family was living in hiding under difficult circumstances as his father was being hunted. After his father's death, she escaped with them, and as the whole family took new identities, she became known as Maria Angeles Sarmiento. She studied advertising at the University of Belgrano. The couple got married at an open-air mass in a hotel in Buenos Aires in 2003. They have a son named Juan Emilio Escobar. He currently lives in Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires and works as an architect.