And his son was along for the ride.
Sebastian Marroquin grew up in Medellin, Colombia, as Juan Pablo Escobar, the son of legendary drug kingpin and leader of the Medellin Cartel, Pablo Escobar. As a kid, Marroquin enjoyed time at “Naples,” a 20-square-kilometer (eight-square-mile) ranch that included swimming pools and a zoo filled with millions of dollars’ worth of exotic animals. “I’ve never been to Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch,” he told The Independent. “But I doubt it had anything on Naples.”
While accompanying his father for years evading the police and rival gangs, young Sebastian saw the perils and pitfalls of the criminal life and has since started a new life as a successful architect. Senior Editor Matt Shaw sat down with Marroquin to discuss his path to architecture, what he learned from his father, and what he hopes to accomplish for Colombia in the future. - Matt Shaw
In this interview, Sebastian Marroguin says he doesn't think much of shows like Narcos because "They are telling lies about [his] whole life", was inspired by his father's architectural ability to hide runways with removable homes, is currently "designing a free, public wellness center and water therapy facility for a small town in Argentina."
But what's even more crazy, is how architecture has saved his life . . . and helped him forgive.
"Architecture saved my life because it gave me the possibility to believe that even when something is demolished new things can come out of that and architecture really helps to know how to think not only about architecture but also about life."
He's even built a house for the guys who, in 1988, "put 700 kilos of dynamite in my house. It was a miracle that we survived because I was with my mom and my little sister there. . . So I built the house for the guy who ruined mine.
"It was a way for them to ask for forgiveness and in a way to understand us," Marroguin explains, "They knew who I was from the beginning. It was weird and it was a clear opportunity and it was clear that a lot of things have changed in Colombia and that is a great example of how things have really changed now.
People want to make peace."
So he built a house for them.