Pablo Escobar's son says sorry for father's crimes

Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:53am EST
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By Luis Andres Henao

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters Life!) - The last phone call Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar made before he was gunned down on a Medellin rooftop was to his son, and many thought Juan Pablo Escobar would follow in his father's footsteps.

But 16 years later, he is asking his father's victims for forgiveness by appearing in a documentary that premiers this week at Argentina's Mar del Plata film festival.

Juan Pablo Escobar fled Colombia in 1994, a year after his infamous father was shot dead by security forces. Since then has led a quiet life as an architect in Buenos Aires under the name Sebastian Marroquin.

"As members of the Escobar family, we have to accept responsibility for what happened and ask for forgiveness for everything Colombia suffered because of my father's crimes," Marroquin told Reuters.

Marroquin, 32, said he decided to throw off the veil of anonymity in an effort to bring reconciliation to his homeland, where security forces continue to battle cocaine-smuggling gangs who stepped in to fill the void left by the big cartels of the 1980s and 1990s.

In the film "Sins of my Father," Marroquin tells the story of the drug lord and meets the sons of two of his most high-profile victims: former Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla and presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan.

Lara and Galan dared to confront Escobar about his drug smuggling, and paid with their lives. Galan's oldest son said meeting Escobar's son in Bogota had helped his family find closure.

"We felt very nervous and uncomfortable at first ... but in the end we felt relieved and freed from feelings of anger," Claudio Galan explained. "We thank him for this."   Continued...

<p>Deceased Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar Gaviria plays with his son Sebastian Marroquin in this undated family photo taken in Medellin. Sebastian Marroquin, who changed his name from Juan Pablo Escobar after his father was killed by police in 1993, is the central character in the Nicolas Entel's Los Pecados de mi Padre (The Sins of my Father), a documentary about his childhood and growing up with Colombia's most famous drug lord. REUTERS/Courtesy Sebastian Marroquin/Handout</p>