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Book Reviews

Pablo Escobar, El Patrón del Mal

Today, the name Pablo Escobar is synonymous to violence. We have all heard thousands of stories of the infamous Colombian drug lord s multi-million dollar enterprise and his infinite capacity for brutality. Very little is known, however, of his origins and human dimension, and of the manner in which his personality gradually spiraled out of control.

Pablo Escobar, El Patrón del Mal

Pablo Escobar

El Patrón del Mal

Author: Alonso Salazar

344 pp. Aguilar

Antonio Salazar dug into archives and searched for previously unrevealed testimonies from relatives, neighbors, friends and enemies, to weave a riveting tale free of interpretations or contradicting versions to provide readers with a more complete portrait of the man behind the figure labeled by the DEA as one of the greatest criminals in history. In this way and throughout the story, Escobar appears at times as the warrior whom marginalized sectors of society considered a hero, the villain who made of death a lucrative business, and the man who was capable through sheer force of terror to subjugate both government and society.

Salazar reveals intimate dimensions and complex human aspects of a man in desperate search of identity and recognition, and who so loved his wife and children he gave his life for them. This book can also be viewed as a map that pinpoints where Escobar ceases to be a nameless individual to become a product on the one hand of a society riddled with historical conflict, and on the other, of one of the most lucrative businesses in the late 20th Century: cocaine trafficking.