MADRID – The widow of an infamous Colombian drug lord who died 25 years ago in a hail of bullets gave on Tuesday an exclusive interview to EFE in Madrid, where she was promoting her autobiography about her life with a person she recalled as “Pablito.”
Victoria Eugenia Henao, 58, is the widow of Pablo Escobar and the author of the book:”Pablo Escobar: My Life and my Prison” (Peninsula books) where she provides an account of her life with the “King of Cocaine” who, at the height of his narco-reign cornered 80 percent of the United States cocaine market.
After years of widowhood, Henao concluded that “remaining in silence was not healthy” either for her personal or social life and two years ago she took the plunge and wrote her memoirs, delving into details of life, and death, alongside Escobar.
“There are many opinions surrounding my life by people who know nothing about me. I thought it was my duty towards my children that they learned my side of the story; I also want my six-year-old grandson to know what really happened through me.”
She also learned from her son Sebastian to “be brave enough to look at people straight in the eye and to ask forgiveness to all Colombia for the horrors committed by his father.”
It was her son who convinced her to overcome her fear and write the book.
Henao, legally changed her name, becoming Maria Isabel Santos Caballero and left to begin life from scratch in Argentina with her family.
“I don’t know how many women in the world are capable of stopping men. Women who have unconditionally loved too much, sometimes pay a very hefty price,” she said.
During her first years of marriage, she had no idea of Escobar’s criminal activities, she added.
All she knew was he was “a successful businessman” who met with politicians.
Escobar was a “ pleasant, loving, romantic man, who always said his family was the most important thing in his life,” she said.
She tells how Escobar raped her at 14: “I had an affair with him, but I was only a girl, I didn’t have a clue what was happening.”
Henao wasn’t even aware she had suffered a sexual aggression but after undergoing therapy, she is now aware her husband revealed psychopathic behavior.
She lived many painful moments on learning about her husband’s latest lover: “No woman likes to have her femininity trampled like that, and feel so discarded.”
Many people may think she has written the book to whitewash her past, but Henao insisted she wrote it for her son Sebastian and for her daughter Manuela because, “they have paid a very high price for being born in this family.”