'Narcos' the Netflix series released in August 2015 tells the true story of infamous Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria. The show, recently having completed its second season, has done tremendously and one of the biggest reasons for its success may have been that as unbelievable as the events in Escobar's larger-than-life journey seemed, we knew that they're all true stories.
But according to The Telegraph, as it turns out, the facts in 'Narcos' may have been less than accurate. In a recent Facebook post, Escobar's very own son, Sebastian Marroquin bashed Netflix for many alleged inaccuracies in the show.
He claimed that the flawed representation of facts by the media giant insulted the history of a whole nation. Here's the complete post that reveals not one or two, but 28 errors in the Netflix telling of Escobar's story:
You may notice that the post is in Español, though. So here's the English translation of all 28 inaccuracies Marroquin pointed out in his post.
1. Carlos Henao, Escobar's brother-in-law, was not a drug-dealer like he is shown on the show - he was an honest, noble man and father who was never involved in any illicit activities. He was an architect of many houses, bridges and roads in the Hacienda, and even sold bibles. He also never dealt drugs nor lived in Miami; he was kidnapped and tortured there alongside another innocent man, Francisco Toro.
2. Pablo Escobar was not a fan of Atletico Nacional, but Deportivo Independiente Medellin - if they cannot get such a trivial fact right how can they say anything else with certainty?
3. La Quica was in prison in New York at the time of Escobar's escape from La Catedral in July 1992, having been jailed in September 1991 for falsifying documents. He was later unjustly accused and sentenced of the Avianca bombing which killed 100 passengers and crew and even the Colombian attorney-general De Grieff wrote letters to the US on his behalf; Escobar insisted the 1989 attack was in fact carried out by Carlos Castaño on his orders.
4. There was no large confrontation during Escobar’s escape from La Catedral - only one guard was killed. Also Escobar did not have any contacts or help from the law in escaping. He escaped by ordering for some bricks in the cell to be left loose. He fled when the government told him they had reneged on their agreement not to transfer him to another jail.
5. Limon worked as a driver for Roberto ‘Osito’, Pablo Escobar’s older brother for 20 years. He did not appear nor was recruited later by Escobar’s family, but had been in their service many years. On the show they speak of a worker of Roberto called ‘Osito’ who collaborated with the DEA. The reality was that Osito became disloyal in Escobar’s final days and helped in intelligence gathering for Los Pepes and the DEA.
6. It is not certain that the Medellin and Cali cartels will negotiate to stay in Miami and New York to sell drugs. Even before the exponential growth in the drug market, demand was so high there was always a deficit of drugs and enough clients for all- there are millions of consumers and they are willing to pay.
7. The CIA did not propose the creation of Los Pepes to the Castano brothers. Fidel Castano decided to create them with the complicity of the Cali cartel and local and foreign authorities, who turned a blind eye to the thousands of crimes and disappearances.
8. His mother never used or bought a weapon - any claims are lies.
9. Escobar did not personally kill Colonel Carrillo as he is called on the show. He attacked many policemen and killed over 500 one month in Medellin in the late 1980s, but not Carrillo. He added he was not proud of the violence of his father and recognised he did a lot of harm to the police while he also gave a lot of money.
10. Escobar equivocated greatly over ordering the death of his partners and lenders, Moncada and Galeano. The pair were kidnapped by the Cali cartel and secured their release alive by promising to deliver Pablo and his men and cut off their financial support to him. Escobar decided at the last minute to spare Moncada, but the order to stop his killing was too late.
11. His father was on his own in his final days- most of his band, with the exceptions of Angelito and Chopo, were dead.
12. After escaping La Catedral he did not live comfortably in mansions, but in hovels.
13. The story of Leon in Miami depicted on the series is a lie- he did not live in the US and was loyal and valiant in his service to Escobar. He died after being captured and tortured by the Castanos.
14. Escobar never threatened the people of Cali, but only fought the Cartel.
15. Ricardo Prisco was already dead in reality at the point they showed him on the series. He had a brother who was a doctor, and was stigmatised by the actions of his brother - he was no criminal.
16. Escobar never attacked the daughter of Gilberto Rodriguez at her wedding or indeed any member of his family at all - he complied with the agreement not to attack family members, even though it seems they did not when they put a bomb in a building where his mother and little sister were staying in 1988.
17. Escobar also never forced his son or children to get involved in clandestine activities- he emphasised education and other opportunities he had not had.
18. He was in one firefight with his father- but not like the one shown in Narcos.
19. The show puts Escobar's bomb attacks on the Discount Drugs pharmaceutical chain run by Gilberto Rodriguez in the year 1993 when in fact they were in 1988, 1989 - a little out of the period for my taste, don't you think?
20. His paternal grandmother betrayed his father and aligned with his older brother Roberto, who struck a deal with Los Pepes so that they could live peacefully in Colombia, while those loyal to Pablo continue to live in exile. He added he would have loved the “tender” version on the series to have been the reality but it was not.
21. His grandmother did not fly with them to Germany.
22. The district attorney of Colombia did not help Escobar’s family- he seemed to be good and help but in reality his office was infiltrated by the Cali cartel as were the agents on the protection scheme. Marroquin says they were in effect hostages, kidnapped by their own state accused of a crime of association.
23. Virginia Vallejo was so in love that she refused Escobar’s money? These are both big lies according to Mr. Marroquin. He says his mother never spoke with her after escaping La Caterdal, and his father was not in contact with her for ten years while she was also a lover of the Cali bosses.
24. Escobar never sent phones to Marroquin and his family in the Tequendama hotel, they used those in the place and hung up every time that he called him to protect him, because he knew the phones were tapped. Escobar used to always tell his son “The phone is death”. He asked to speak to his mother and sister and they talked a lot- it would possibly be their last call so the conversation was lengthy as they spoke on the day of Escobar's final battle in the Los Olivos neighbourhood of Medellin. Like he has said dozens of times, Marroquin affirmed his father committed suicide, which does not surprise him. He was not killed by police.
25. No journalists were killed in front of the Tequendama Hotel.
26. Escobar never treated his parents badly.
27. After Escobar’s death, Marroquin’s mother arranged a meeting with the Cali cartel, which 40 bosses and mafia attended. Miguel Rodriquez, not Gilberto, saved his mother, but on this occasion they stripped their family of their hereditary riches and they split them amongst themselves as if they were part of the spoils of war.
28. On the show it says that Marroquin’s grandmother said that it was his mother who betrayed his father, but in reality it was his grandmother and her children who were in secret contact with the Cali cartel.
And that was Escobar's son's side of the story. Now while very few may be able to verify it all, there's certainly a chance that there's more to the truth than what we saw on the show.