Maria Victoria Henao, the wife of notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, has long been shrouded in mystery and intrigue. She has kept a low profile since she and her two children fled Colombia for Argentina in 1994 following her husband’s death. In recent years, however, Henao has emerged from obscurity to share her story and pay tribute to the man who made such an impression on her life.
Who is Maria Victoria Henao?
Maria Victoria Henao was born in Colombia in 1961 and married drug lord Pablo Escobar in 1976. She has since led a life of mystery, with little known about her past or what she was doing after Escobar’s death in 1993. Despite living a life of luxury during his reign as leader of the Medellin Cartel, Henao is said to have had no involvement in her husband’s drug-trafficking activities.
Early Life and Family
Henao’s childhood and family background
Maria Victoria Henao was born in 1961, the daughter of a Colombian family of modest means. She was raised in Envigado, a small town outside of Medellin, Colombia. Her father worked as an accountant and her mother worked as a teacher. Growing up, she attended school and spent her spare time with her family. As a young adult, she met Pablo Escobar and the two married in 1976.
Meeting and marrying Pablo Escobar
Maria Victoria Henao first met Pablo Escobar in the early 1970s when she was a young woman living in Medellin. The two quickly developed a relationship and tied the knot in 1976. Although it is unknown how their courtship began, many have speculated that Henao was attracted to Escobar’s ambition and status as leader of the Medellin Cartel. The couple went on to have two children together, Juan Pablo and Manuela.
Life with Pablo Escobar
Escobar’s rise to power and influence
Pablo Escobar’s rise to power and influence was rapid and dramatic. By the late 1970s, he had become one of the most powerful drug lords in Colombia, eventually achieving control over 80% of the world’s cocaine market. He was also known for his philanthropic acts, such as building homes for the poor and investing in public works projects. His wealth enabled him to buy mansions, luxury cars and other possessions.
Henao’s involvement in Escobar’s drug trade business
Despite living a life of luxury during her husband’s reign as leader of the Medellin Cartel, Maria Victoria Henao has consistently denied any involvement in her husband’s drug-trafficking activities. She has stated that she was unaware of his criminal activities and instead focused on raising their children.
Escobar’s infidelity and their strained relationship
Despite the couple’s seemingly idyllic union, it was reported that Pablo Escobar had frequent affairs throughout their marriage. Henao was reportedly aware of her husband’s infidelities and became increasingly frustrated with his behavior over time. This caused a strain in their relationship, as Henao struggled to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity.
Escobar’s Downfall and Exile
Henao’s decision to stay with Escobar despite his illegal activities
Despite Pablo Escobar’s criminal activities, Maria Victoria Henao decided to remain by her husband’s side. Although she was aware of his involvement in the drug trade and other illegal activities, she chose to stay with him out of love and loyalty. She has stated that they had a strong bond and that Escobar’s criminal activities never affected their relationship. She also said that she was determined to stay with her husband until the end.
Escobar’s capture and imprisonment
In 1992, Pablo Escobar was captured by Colombian authorities and sentenced to five years in prison. He was held in a luxurious private prison called La Catedral which he had built for himself. Despite having all the amenities of a five-star hotel, Escobar soon grew bored of his confinement and eventually escaped. After fleeing La Cated ral, Escobar went into hiding and became a fugitive.
Henao’s exile with her family in various countries
Following Escobar’s escape, Maria Victoria Henao and her two children fled Colombia and went into exile in various countries, including Mozambique and Brazil. In an effort to keep her family safe, Henao changed their surnames and assumed a new identity. She also sold off many of their possessions in order to finance the move. During their time in exile, Henao had to work as a domestic helper in order to support her family.
Life after Escobar
Henao’s attempts to distance herself from Escobar’s criminal legacy
After Pablo Escobar’s death in 1993, Maria Victoria Henao made a conscious effort to distance herself and her children from his criminal legacy. She refused to talk about her time with Escobar or his involvement in the drug trade and instead focused on raising her children. Henao wanted to ensure that her children would not be seen as heirs of Escobar’s fortune or associated with his notorious reputation.
Henao’s book “Mi Vida y Mi Carcel Con Pablo Escobar”
In 2011, Maria Victoria Henao released her autobiography titled “Mi Vida y Mi Carcel Con Pablo Escobar”. In the book, she reflects on her life with the notorious Colombian drug lord and details the challenges that she faced during their time in exile. She also reflects on Escobar’s influence on her life and how she was able to eventually move on from his legacy. The book was an instant success and has since been translated into several languages.
Life as a private citizen and mother to her children
After Pablo Escobar’s death, Maria Victoria Henao focused her energy on raising her two children. She wanted to ensure that they had a normal and happy life, far away from the criminal notoriety of their father. To this end, Henao worked hard to create a stable home for herself and her children in exile. She devoted her time to her children’s education and well-being, while also taking care of the household duties.
Maria Victoria Henao’s place in Colombian history is complex. On the one hand, she is remembered for her unwavering loyalty and devotion to her husband despite his criminal activities. On the other hand, she is also remembered for her courage and resilience in raising her children in exile after Escobar’s death. She serves as an example of strength, determination and resilience in the face of adversity..