Pablo Escobar’s legend keeps growing. A lot of people are minting money on Escobar’s posthumous celebrity status.
These days, Roberto Escobar, having served fourteen years in prison, earns money by leading tourists around one of his family’s former safe houses. The house, a bungalow of white painted brick, can be reached by a gated driveway off a steep mountain road, roughly halfway between the Envigado plateau, where Pablo Escobar grew up, and the middle-class neighborhood in Medellín where he was gunned down by Colombian police, in 1993. One recent morning, a group of visitors from the United States and Europe arrived in a chauffeured van—part of a growing influx of narcoturistas, who come to see the places where Pablo Escobar lived and worked. Roberto, seventy-one, still looked like an accountant; he wore khakis, a blue short-sleeved shirt, and thick-rimmed spectacles. While he was in prison, a letter bomb delivered to his cell exploded, leaving him blind in his right eye and deaf in his right ear. His damaged eye was a milky blue, and he periodically squirted drops of medicine into it.