Colombia’s infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar wasn’t content with just being the “king of cocaine” — he wanted to be president, his widow says in a new memoir.
“Honey, get ready to be the first lady . . . the doors of the presidential palace are going to open to us,” Escobar boasted to his wife, Victoria Eugenia Henao, in 1982 after he was elected to an alternate seat in Colombia’s Congress.
Henao recalls the scene in a new memoir being serialized in the Sunday Times of London.
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She bought a luxurious velvet Valentino dress for Escobar’s swearing-in ceremony.
“I started looking for the best consultants on protocol and public image . . . imagined I might find myself traveling around the world as the wife and companion of Congressman Pablo Escobar,” she wrote.
The book chronicles the life of luxury Henao led with the head of the Medellin cartel — including a significant art collection — as well as their embarrassing lows, starting with abuse she suffered at his hands when she was just 14. They married a year later.
“I loved him” despite the violence, she wrote. “I was very young, naive and blind to reality, so I succumbed.”
Escobar’s brief time in politics was among the happiest memories of her time with her husband, according to the paper, as the family marked his accomplishments with vacations to Brazil.
But even those bright days were darkened by Escobar’s out-of-control behavior, Henao writes in “Mrs. Escobar.”
The widow recalls her “shame” when Escobar would spend their vacation nights with other men seeing strippers and prostitutes, instead of staying with the mother of his two kids.
Being married to Escobar was never easy. The family’s home was bombed, and the couple had to flee after he was revealed as a drug baron. The justice minister who exposed him was shot dead.
Still, her husband wasn’t all bad, Henao insists.
The kingpin got his men to hand out food and blankets in the slums, helped fund medical procedures for poor people and built houses. The largesse made him a hero in the eyes of some.
But Escobar’s vengeful nature was undeniable.
He never forgot a rich neighbor who drove his children to school every day without ever giving Escobar or his brother a ride, as they walked “often in the rain, barefoot and malnourished.”
Years later, Escobar ordered his bodyguards to torch the neighbor’s car.
“If they buy another car the next day, burn that one too,” he said. “I want them to walk more than I did.”