—by Cynthia Cahya
Twenty-five years ago, Medellín, Colombia’s second-largest city, was infested with drug violence, car bombs and regular shootouts as drug gangs, state forces, international parties, and private militias fought for supremacy. This dark legacy can be traced back to one man – Pablo Escobar. Netflix’s original series Narcos, takes the notorious story of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar and intertwines fiction and reality to address the harrowing events of the drug trade. The spotlight regarding drugs conventionally focuses on users and law enforcement, largely overlooking the localities and contexts within which it exists. The series aims to readdress this imbalance – it graphically depicts the consequences of mass production of cocaine in a poverty-stricken area. Colombia’s verdant landscape is juxtaposed with images of bloody bodies littering the streets. The commonality of torture, murder, and fear are exposed as Escobar’s billions flow into the economy, turning Columbia into a bustling, cosmopolitan hellhole. Narcos’ realistic take on this world separates it not only from previous takes on Escobar, but also all American takes on the subject. The series’ inclusion of the often-inverted roles of “heroes” and “villains” invokes a more nuanced take on the dynamic surrounding the War on Drugs.
The South American roots of the international drug trade is a hot topic. Netflix’s Narcos is one of the latest series to set itself in the world of narco terrorism, and the DEA agents who will do anything to stop it. The show, however, uniquely focuses on the beginning of Latino involvement in the Colombian drug trade and traces the rise of Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel. The title, Narcos, comes from the term narcoterrorism, or the attempts of narcotics traffickers to intimidate or influence governments through acts of violence and terror[i]. The nickname narcos first appeared in Latin American newspapers and media in the early to mid-1900s to describe families or businesses trafficking marijuana to the U.S. and other countries[ii]. Mexico, which dominated marijuana production throughout the mid 1900s, cracked down on growers after being prodded by the U.S., through Operation Condor in 1975[iii]. This allowed Colombia to seize the marijuana market and become the most dominant player in narcotics trafficking[iv]. Further, the rise of Augusto Pinochet in Chile allowed Colombian smugglers to take over the roles of executed Chilean cocaine producers and smugglers[v].
With the roots of cocaine production in Columbia established, viewers see the immediate growth of cocaine distribution to the US in the first episode of season 1. Miami quickly transitions from marijuana-using hippies to cocaine addicts[vi]. This episode, titled “Descenso” introduces American protagonist and narrator, DEA Agent Steve Murphy. Murphy’s narration helps the audience follow some of the more complex plotlines, but more significantly, he also includes his own opinions and internal motivations. While Narcos may appear to be Pablo Escobar’s story, it is really Steve Murphy’s journey and his growing intentions to take down Escobar. Murphy is the epitome of America. He is white with a southern accent, patriotic, and faithful to his wife. One year after first arriving in Colombia, Murphy narrates, “All that patriotic bullshit was out the window…If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the Narco world, it’s that life is more complicated than you think. Good and bad, they’re relative concepts. In the world of drug dealers, you do what you think is right and hope for the best”[vii]. As he narrates, the audience sees Murphy taking pictures of the aftermath of a Colombian police operation. The camera pans over dead narco-criminals, but also innocent civilians. The “good” and “bad” that Murphy speaks of, are indeed, what the series hopes to explore. Consequently, while the first episode of Narcos may appear to set the viewer up for another triumphant victory for good versus evil, the rest of the first season complicates and nuances those binaries.
The first prominent theme of the series, that of disparate class systems, is used in a particularly useful way to humanize Pablo Escobar and contextualize the conditions fueling the drug trade. Throughout the series, the writers stress Escobar’s working-class background. While pursuing a short-lived political career, he campaigns on the premise of a slum-free Medellín[viii]. Reporter Valeria Velez characterizes Escobar as “un Robin Hood paisa,” or a comrade of the slums[ix]. For a while, his title may even be deserved, as the viewer learns that he built over 400 houses, 33 several soccer fields, and medical clinics to serve the people living in slums[x]. In other words, Escobar provides a service to the poor that the government does not. He recognizes the need to improve life for the impoverished. In episode two, “The Sword of Simon Bolivar,” Escobar exclaims, “For decades, our country has been led by Lopez and other families that are wealthy who made their fortune off exploiting the poor. They don’t know the dreams of the common people, but I do”[xi]. Colombia has a long history of political instability, contributing to “a nightmarish period of bloodletting so empty of meaning it is simply called la Violencia”[xii]. This civil war, which erupted out of long-standing conflict between the Liberal and the Conservative parties claimed the lives of an estimated 200,000 people between 1948 and 1957. Due to the fragility of state control, guerrilla forces created extensive strongholds in many areas of the country where they effectively determined local government policies and exercised significant control over the local population[xiii].
These anarchic and violent conditions defined the generation Escobar and many Colombians grew up in. In this sense, the show understands how Colombian’s political climate influenced Escobar’s popularity – years of political turmoil and extreme violence meant Colombians felt isolated and disenfranchised, producing ideal circumstances for a “Robin Hood paisa” like Escobar to rise up in promise to redistribute wealth among the urban poor[xiv]. In episode three, for example, he confides in Valeria that “Those shitty oligarchs, those people, all of their lives don’t know what it’s like to wonder where their next meal is coming from. I come from nothing”[xv]. He tells her this while taking a bath. The nakedness of the two characters signifies the vulnerability of their conversation, but also that Escobar has nothing to hide. He is proud to be a man coming from the slums to a man holding an astounding amount of power. Even with all his wealth and power, Escobar’s identification as a common man gives him a popular platform that Columbians rally around.
Escobar’s popularity with the poor does not translate among the elites even considering his newfound wealth, emphasizing the perpetual gap between social classes. Becoming a God-like figure to the poor allows him to earn a seat in Congress. Later in “The Men of Always,” when Escobar enters his first Congressional meeting, the audience learns about a significant internal complexity of his character. The world of politics remains so foreign to him, that he arrives unaware that you cannot enter the building without a tie[xvi]. He buys one from a guard on the steps. Inside, the Minister of Justice accuses Escobar of being a narco and embarrasses him by revealing an enlarged mug shot from an earlier arrest. He fidgets, repeatedly adjusting his tie and looks around constantly, as if someone might ask him to leave. After the Minister of Justice reveals his mugshot, Escobar’s eyes become bloodshot and the viewer experiences the shame Escobar feels. The minister’s proclamation of “You’re not welcome here!” addresses not only Escobar the criminal, but also Escobar the poor boy from Medellín. This story grounds Escobar’s character. Yes, he is despicable, but he defied the chances and social inequalities to become a man of power.
This idea of social mobility in a time of extreme hierarchies is significant to Escobar’s characterization. For this reason, the writers did not stray very far from the actual events regarding Escobar’s political involvement. In 1982, Escobar campaigned for a seat in the House of Representatives[xvii]. At a rally in Medellín, Escobar’s hometown, Rodrigo Lara Bonilla publicly rejected Escobar—an affront that the drug lord would never forgive. Still, Escobar was able to gain a position in the House of Representatives. Another outcome of the 1982 elections was the presidency of Belisario Betancur, who then appointed Rodrigo Lara Bonilla as his minister of justice. Irritated, Escobar prepared congressional hearings against Lara Bonilla in retaliation for his public expulsion. Lara Bonilla’s response was to step up action against drug traffickers. Lara Bonilla managed to lift Escobar’s parliamentary immunity, and Escobar was forced to publicly renounced politics[xviii]. Not being accepted in that circle, infers that the poor and the wealthy will continue to exist in separate spheres. Escobar’s frustration with the injustice maintained by the divide only fuels his need to prove himself – a trait both real and fictional Escobar take on. Growing up in the slums, Escobar always dreamed of going “further” and “higher,” away from his impoverished upbringing[xix]. Reminiscent of an underdog complex, the audience sympathizes with this relatable figure. He is not a cookie cutter villain; instead Narcos succeeds in humanizing him in specific moments.
As Escobar becomes a villain with understandable motives, the show breaks crime-genre conventions by establishing the American protagonist as a weak hero. Agent Murphy’s character quickly strays from his rigid morals in favor of a more ambiguous attitude, opening his interpretation of acceptable courses of action. In the episode “The Palace in Flames,” Peña and Murphy get the name of former CIA agent Barry Seal, who is working for Escobar after Police Chief Carillo tortures an unnamed narco for information[xx]. Murphy wants to turn the agent in, but Peña is reluctant because it will almost assuredly get Seal killed:
“Peña: I have a code of ethics when it comes to informants.
Murphy: But not when it comes to torturing suspects with hot coffee.
Peña: You know, I wouldn’t judge Carillo.
Murphy: Why is that?
Peña: You had a partner killed; he’s had a dozen”[xxi]
This exchange demonstrates the stakes of the drug war in Colombia. By turning in Seal’s evidence, they will be able to connect Escobar and get more funding from the CIA, but in doing so Seal will be killed. Peña believes in protecting Seal and finding another way to get the CIA involved, Murphy disagrees and goes behind his back. Seal dies at the hand of Escobar’s men, and Peña tells his partner that Seal’s death should rest on his conscience. Essentially, the agents are both forced to operate outside of the lines of clearly “good” or “bad.” Real-life Peña, believes the shows inclusion of the difficult decisions faced by the agents is one of its greatest assets. “To me, it’s an important lesson in history,” says Peña who worked closely with the producers as a consultant. “And this story has everything, that’s what I tried to tell the writers: lying, bribery, sex, love…This is a chronology. This is what happened. And I think they’ve done a good job”[xxii].
By the final episode, Murphy is ruthlessly pursuing the death of Escobar, not even bothering to act with the professionalism expected of a U.S. agent. Tellingly, in one of the first scenes of episode nine “La Catedral,” Murphy is in the car with his wife and newly adopted daughter, when he rear-ends a taxi in front of him[xxiii]. He gets out of the car to confront the visibly upset driver. The taxi driver yells at him in Spanish, “You don’t even speak Spanish, get out of here…son a bitch. Are you gonna hit me? What the hell have you come here for?” [xxiv] Murphy, unable to communicate, pulls out a gun and points it at his face. He then shoots the taxi’s wheel, before getting back in his own car and talking to his wife like nothing had even happened[xxv]. In this moment, Murphy is not only meant to represent U.S. imperialists interfering with Colombian affairs, but he is also shown to have lost all tolerance. Again, this dialogue indicates Murphy’s perspective and insinuates how his mission in Colombia is personal, rather than looking out for the greater good of the U.S. or the innocent victims of the Latino drug trade. Murphy’s war is no longer about drugs; it is about killing Escobar. Escobar might be orchestrating violence, but by the end of the season finale, Murphy is ruthlessly pursuing a personal obsession using the same violent means.
As Murphy’s motives increasingly come under question, the DEA’s idea of justice falls under scrutiny. Narcos asks viewers to be critical of Murphy and, more broadly, America’s role. To get the Colombian government to react to Escobar’s criminality, Agents Murphy and Peña must find evidence of a past arrest. Once they find an old mugshot, they bring it to Minister Lara, who asks the Americans how long they have had it:
“Minister Lara: What am I doing here?
U.S. Ambassador: It’s not America’s role to get involved in other country’s elections. Minister Lara: Once again the hand of the United States remains invisible.
U.S. Ambassador: Your party took money from Escobar. I should think you’d want to get ahead of this.
Minster Lara: Everyone took money. By the way it’s all American money, so why don’t you take this to the press? [referring to Escobar’s mugshot]
U.S. Ambassador: It’s up to you. You’re the Minister of the Justice”[xxvi].
The Colombian minster’s delivery of lines reads as a criticism of American policies. Policies that exclusively focus on restricting supply, rather than tackling the growing narcotics demand at the home front. In this vein, Narcos discusses how American involvement in foreign politics, whether political influence or military action is an irritating and violent intrusion. Historically, Washington’s agenda was to eradicate drugs at their source arguing that it would be the cheapest and most effective action[xxvii], making it a foreign policy issue. In April of 1986, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 221, which made drug trafficking a matter of national security and thereby authorized military involvement in counter-narcotics efforts[xxviii]. From that point on, U.S. counter-narcotics efforts abroad became increasingly militarized. As another means to coerce international cooperation in the War on Drugs, the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act established a drug certification process that made countries cooperate with Washington’s counter-narcotics efforts in order to be eligible to receive military and economic aid[xxix].
This heavy involvement and pressure from the United States left the Colombian people and government feeling manipulated and frustrated by American’s hypocritical and counter-productive policies emphasizing foreign drug eradication over reducing demand at home. Colombian president Turbay himself said, “Colombians are not corrupting Americans. You are corrupting us. If you abandon illegal drugs, the traffic will disappear”[xxx]. Yet, a poll published by CBS News and the New York Times in 1988 showed that 48% of Americans believed that illegal drugs represented the United States’ biggest foreign policy challenge”[xxxi] .
This myopic belief is clearly represented in Murphy, who wholeheartedly believes in his mission in Colombia. “We’re not a death squad,”[xxxii] declares Murphy. Colombia has one of the highest murder rates in the world; for some years murder has been the principal cause of death of adult males. The murder rate has climbed steadily, by about four percent annually, for several years. In 1992, 28,237 murders were registered, of which 102 incidents were recorded as massacres in which four or more people died[xxxiii]. Reports of “death squad” style attacks on young people in shanty towns surrounding Medellín increased dramatically after Pablo Escobar and several other leading drug-traffickers escaped from prison in July 1992[xxxiv]. The police took their revenge by indiscriminately killing youths in the shanty towns. Only hours after two police agents were shot dead in the center of Medellín in November 1992, 12 masked men armed with automatic rifles raided Villatina, a poor neighborhood outside Medellín and killed nine children, aged 17 and under. The youngest victims were a boy and a girl, both aged eight[xxxv].
Forward a couple episodes and numerous deaths later, Murphy sits alone facing reality. The DEA lied to him, he lied to himself, and he lied to us. The question remains, who should the audience sympathize with? Escobar? Murphy? The government? Indeed, the idea of “good” versus “bad” is used to help understand each character and confront this question, but the lines between good and bad have become so convoluted the audience must look past these social constructs to create their own judgements.
As with all portrayals “based on true events,” there runs a risk of misrepresentation. The show has its limitations, chief amongst them a continuous inclination to resort to U.S. perspectives that restricts its ability to take a critical look at the War on Drugs. Part of the issue is that Narcos remains framed from the perspective of white DEA Agent Steve Murphy. In his review, Eric Duggan from NPR writes, “Telling the story from the viewpoint of Murphy — the only white American guy in the core cast of characters — keeps the audience at arm’s length from the Latino characters, especially the noncriminals”[xxxvi]. Indeed, his voice is the first you hear in episode one and the last heard at the end of the season finale. Much of his narration is unnecessary and could be considered condescending or nationalistic. As he so proclaims in “La Gran Mentira,” “Bad guys don’t play by the rules, that’s what makes them bad…There’s one thing I’ve learned down here in Colombia, good and bad are relative concepts”[xxxvii]. Dialogue like Murphy’s, which establishes the lack of rules and proper authority in Colombia, contradicts any critique the writers are trying to make of American policy in the Latino drug war. You cannot easily hold the U.S. accountable for poor domestic and foreign drug policy while framing Latin America as a wild and corrupt place, effectively shifting the burden of responsibility. This framework sets up the DEA as a justified presence amidst the chaotic conditions, surely to clean up the corruption and violence that plagues Columbia’s community.
Despite narration from an American character, there is no safe and reassuring world created by the Americans. First, Escobar consistently outsmarts the American DEA agents and Colombian government, leaving scarce moments of catharsis for our supposed “heroes.” Second, there is a lack of an “American hierarchy” in the show. Colombian government officials put Americans in their place on several occasions by lambasting their motives for capturing Escobar and questioning their lack of dedication to combatting the war on drugs on their own home front. Finally, Agent Murphy’s air of racial superiority is increasingly used to characterize him as an unlikable villain in Colombia’s war on drugs. This is particularly applicable when he calls polaroids of dead Medellín Cartel members and innocent civilians his “accomplishments”[xxxviii]. In this way, Narcos gets a crucial dynamic of the drug wars and the greater black market: drug kingpins, local law enforcement, and DEA agents all play a role in creating and perpetuating the environments ripe for illicit activity, and they are not afraid to do whatever it takes to come out on top. All parties cave to economic pressures and in the process, make unwanted compromises with each other while considering themselves heroes and vigilantes.
Narcos is successful in countering several of the more stereotypical outlooks on cartels, their leaders, and the forces trying to stop them. The theme of class struggle and the inability of social class movement between those born poor and those born into upper-class society in Colombia contextualizes the motivations of Pablo Escobar, humanizing him along the way. In the process of legitimizing Escobar, Narcos also questions the role of governments and outside agencies. Agent Steve Murphy often finds himself questioning whether or not to be burdened with the deaths of informants, government officials, narco-criminals, and civilians, as the DEA willingly shifts responsibility. Viewers see this internal struggle manifest as questions of personal vendettas versus the greater good. All of these elements culminate in a story that looks past social constructions in order to portray the complexities of the Drug War narrative. Narco cinema is valuable to the national debate, bringing new insights regarding the multifaceted nature of the War on Drugs. Analysis of these works are necessary to consider all the nuances and complexities of the black markets these shows are discussing. The concern is that with current political climates, popular culture remains a scapegoat for unfavorable government policies, especially those of foreign nations. Avoiding the pitfalls of media’s traditional discourse on drug trafficking thus remains an important goal. Through Narcos, viewers see how globally minded writers have given the War on Drugs a voice beyond the “good” and “bad”. The question is whether the rest of Hollywood is listening.
[i] Recio, Gabriela. “Drugs and Alcohol: US Prohibition and the Origins of the Drug Trade in Mexico, 1910-1930.” Journal of Latin American Studies 34.1 (2002): 21-42.
[iii] Hyland, Steven. “The Shifting Terrain of Latin American Drug Trafficking.” Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective 4.12 (2011).
[v] Franklin, Jonathan. “Pinochet ‘Sold Cocaine to Europe and US’.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 July 2006, www.theguardian.com/world/2006/jul/11/chile.drugstrade.
[vi] Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “Descenso.” Narcos, season 1, episode 1, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
[viii] Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “The Sword of Simon Bolivar.” Narcos, season 1, episode 2, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
[xii] Bowden, Mark. Killing Pablo. New York: Penguin Books, 2002.
[xiii] Amnesty Int. “Political violence in Colombia: myth and reality.” https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/180000/amr230011994en.pdf
[xv] Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “The Men of Always.” Narcos, season 1, episode 3, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
[xvii] Salazar, Alonso. Pablo Escobar, el patron del mal. Doral: Santillana, 2012.
[xviii] Rubio, Mauricio. “Colombia: Coexistence, Legal Confrontation, and War with Illegal Armed Groups”.
[xix] Rubio, Mauricio. “Colombia: Coexistence, Legal Confrontation, and War with Illegal Armed Groups”.
[xx] Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “La Gran Mentira.” Narcos, season 1, episode 8, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
[xxii] Battersby, Matilda. “The Real People behind Narcos – the next Big Thing on Netflix.” The Independent. July 20, 2015. Accessed November 12, 2018. https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/narcos-who-is-pablo-escobar-the-real-people-behind-the-neflix-original-10396862.html.
[xxiii] Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “La Catedral.” Narcos, season 1, episode 9, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
[xxvi] Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “The Men of Always.” Narcos, season 1, episode 3, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
[xxvii] Crandall, Russell. Driven by Drugs: U.S. Policy Toward Colombia. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2002.
[xxviii] Bowden, Mark. Killing Pablo. New York: Penguin Books, 2002.
[xxix] U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Future of the War on Drugs After the Escape of Pablo Escobar: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs and Task Force on International Narcotics Control. 102nd Cong., 2nd sess., July 29, 1992.
[xxx] Bagley, Bruce M. “Colombia and the War on Drugs.” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 67, No. 1 (1988): 70-92. JSTOR. http://www.jstor.com/stable/20043675.
[xxxi] Crandall, Russell. Driven by Drugs: U.S. Policy Toward Colombia. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2002.
[xxxii] Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “Explosivos” Narcos, season 1, episode 6, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
[xxxiii] Amnesty Int. “Political violence in Colombia: myth and reality.” https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/180000/amr230011994en.pdf
[xxxvi] Deggans, Eric. “A Colombian Kingpin Gets The ‘Goodfellas’ Treatment In ‘Narcos’.” NPR, NPR, 28 Aug. 2015, www.npr.org/2015/08/28/435260185/a-colombian-kingpin-gets-the-goodfellas-treatment-in-narcos.
[xxxvii] Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “La Gran Mentira.” Narcos, season 1, episode 8, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
[xxxviii] Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “Explosivos” Narcos, season 1, episode 6, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
Amnesty Int. “Political violence in Colombia: myth and reality.” https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/180000/amr230011994en.pdf
Bagley, Bruce M. “Colombia and the War on Drugs.” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 67, No. 1 (1988): 70-92. JSTOR. http://www.jstor.com/stable/20043675.
Battersby, Matilda. “The Real People behind Narcos – the next Big Thing on Netflix.” The Independent. July 20, 2015. Accessed November 12, 2018. https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/narcos-who-is-pablo-escobar-the-real-people-behind-the-neflix-original-10396862.html.
Bowden, Mark. Killing Pablo. New York: Penguin Books, 2002.
Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “La Catedral.” Narcos, season 1, episode 9, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “Descenso.” Narcos, season 1, episode 1, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “Explosivos” Narcos, season 1, episode 6, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “La Gran Mentira.” Narcos, season 1, episode 8, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “The Men of Always.” Narcos, season 1, episode 3, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
Brancato, Chris, Bernard, Carlo, and Miro, Doug, creators. “The Sword of Simon Bolivar.” Narcos, season 1, episode 2, Netflix, August 28, 2015.
Crandall, Russell. Driven by Drugs: U.S. Policy Toward Colombia. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2002.
Deggans, Eric. “A Colombian Kingpin Gets The ‘Goodfellas’ Treatment In ‘Narcos’.” NPR, NPR, 28 Aug. 2015, www.npr.org/2015/08/28/435260185/a-colombian-kingpin-gets-the-goodfellas-treatment-in-narcos.
Franklin, Jonathan. “Pinochet ‘Sold Cocaine to Europe and US’.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 July 2006, www.theguardian.com/world/2006/jul/11/chile.drugstrade.
Hyland, Steven. “The Shifting Terrain of Latin American Drug Trafficking.” Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective 4.12 (2011).
Recio, Gabriela. “Drugs and Alcohol: US Prohibition and the Origins of the Drug Trade in Mexico, 1910-1930.” Journal of Latin American Studies 34.1 (2002): 21-42.
Rubio, Mauricio. “Colombia: Coexistence, Legal Confrontation, and War with Illegal Armed Groups”.
Salazar, Alonso. Pablo Escobar, el patron del mal. Doral: Santillana, 2012.
U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Future of the War on Drugs After the Escape of Pablo Escobar: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs and Task Force on International Narcotics Control. 102nd Cong., 2nd sess., July 29, 1992.