Born in Rionegro, Colombia was arguably the most dominant and powerful drug lord to ever walk the planet. Widely known as the “King of Cocaine”, Pablo Escobar was the wealthiest criminal in history. The ‘narcoterrorist’ established himself as one of the richest men of his time, through the villainous works in the drug industry that he controlled prominently. You’d believe that to be wedded to a man of such notoriety and wealth would be easy and breezy, but that wasn’t exactly the case for Maria Victoria Henao, who reveals the story of their life and marriage.
Coming from a prestigious background, Maria was only 13 when she met Pablo, which saw an 11-year age gap between them. Her parents weren’t too pleased with the idea, but that didn’t stop her from following her heart and uniting with the kingpin in romance. Entering a life of inevitable crime, there was no telling to what extent and heights the antics of the regime would reach.
The founder and head of the Medellin cartel reeled in an estimated $70 million a day at the height of his reign, supplying 80% of the cocaine that entered the United States. He was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 4,000 people, among those about 200 judges, and 1,000 police, government officials, and journalists. Despite his involvement in various felonies, he became a man of the people, dubbed “Robin Hood” for his support of the poor. Down the line, Pablo took his power and fame in the direction of politics, becoming a Minister of Justice in Colombia. Furthermore, he covered the nation’s $10 billion dollar debt, in his attempt to change the laws of extradition.
For Maria, having a front-row view and perspective on all of this, was an unfortunately challenging time, having to withstand a life of trials and tribulations. Bringing children into the equation added additional worries and hardship, being exposed to a life of illegality and wrongdoings.
Having two children together, Sebastian and Manuela, they experienced a difficult upbringing, having to be hidden and sheltered from the warfare that surrounded them. Though Pablo was able to provide them with a life of luxury and comfort, it came with the possibility of danger and worry on a daily basis. They spent a lot of time on the run, and their father wasn’t around as often as most would typically be, leaving Maria with the responsibility of raising them primarily on her own.
With the frequent absence of Pablo in the household, he was involved in several affairs throughout their marriage. Journalist Virginia Vallejo was among those, having a five-year affair with the drug lord who, despite the criminality, spoke of his “charm, charisma, passion–and ruthlessness.” Most notably, he was involved with Griselda Blanco, who was also heavily involved in the drug trade, and known as “The Cocaine Godmother”.
Through all of this, and the resulting death of Pablo, Maria and her children live under pseudonyms, and they are said to be residing in Argentina. The family is, unfortunately, paying the price of the husband and father’s criminal involvements, proving the tragic downside of being related to a notorious gangster. Though she stayed true to Pablo and devoted despite it all, it has led to a life of immense difficulty and obstacles for herself and her family, who is now a woman of mystery with no certain whereabouts.
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