Escobar Jr. Cashes in With Druglord Tees

Escobar Jr. Cashes in With Druglord Tees

By May Wilkerson 10/03/12

The son of dead cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar is making a mint in Mexico with a line of T-shirts bearing his father's face.

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A shop worker holds up an Escobar tee.
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The infamous Colombian druglord Pablo Escobar was killed nearly two decades ago, but his face is now plastered across Mexico—via a popular designer T-shirt line. Escobar's Medellín cartel—which once controlled 80% of the world's cocaine market—is held responsible for thousands of deaths. His 39-year-old son, Sebastian Marroquin, who changed his name from Juan Pablo Escobar Henao after his father's death in 1993, is now marketing high-end tees displaying his father's face and some provocative messages. "What's your future looking like? / Nice pace, but wrong way" reads one, emblazoned with Escobar's driver's license. Despite some fairly extortionate prices, they're selling fast. "We're not trying to make an apology for drug trafficking, to glamorize it in the way that the media does," claims Marroquin. The shirts are apparently meant instead to "provoke reflection." But they're accused of cashing in on violence, and of fueling fascination with cartel culture. They're available from stores in Sinaloa and Jalisco states, both of which are plagued by drug violence. They're also being sold in Austria, Guatemala and the US—but not Colombia, out of respect for Escobar's victims. Marroquin brushes off the criticism, saying he's not the first to make money from his father, and that books and TV shows have already done the same: "Those who set out to criticize me are the same who have profited from the story, life and name of Pablo Escobar."