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Tiera Carlock

LAS 201-001
Movie Essay 2: The Two Escobars
Part I: Social Change and Ethical Dilemmas
The juxtaposition between Pablo Escobar and Andrs Escobars livesboth of which met tragic,
violent endsspeaks to the intersection of Colombias reputation as a major production site of illegal
drugs, particularly cocaine and the lives of its citizens and the figures to whom the nation of Colombia
revered: its soccer team. Cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar and beloved soccer star Andrs Escobar were in
no way related by blood, but the rampant civil conflict between drugs and daily life put these men in early
maybe deserved, depending on whos askedgraves.
Colombia, like many Latin American nations, evolved as a society segregated by race, ethnicity,
and especially social class. The living conditions in Colombialike countries of and other than Latin
Americaare not particularly uniform to a region or class of citizens. There are the rich families of
Spanish descent, the creoles of the New World, then the majority of poor mixed-race Colombians. Much
of the Colombian population suffers from poverty, which hits particularly hard in rural areas. With a
population of 45 million, 18 percent of it is living under the equivalent of $2 USD per day. Access to
healthcare, a balanced diet and clean, running water is limitedconditions are poor and result in high
rates of declining health. The segregated society has also contributed to Colombias high levels of
violence, fueled by the lucrative drug trade which has cemented the Latin American nation as a major
producer and exporter of illegal drugs, mainly cocaine. Having never lived in or being born in Colombia,
the state has a rather weak presence within the country, especially since it is wrought with corruption.
Medellns most violent era sparked a desire for change in the heart of Andrs Escobar. Without
criticism, he carried a genuine concern for changing his beloved home country for the better. Escobar
worked with poor, underprivileged children and financed scholarships for their benefit. His earnings were
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to help his country which was being torn by violence. Soccer impacted the self-worth of Colombiaall
classes, together for the gameshared no difference in the name of ftbol. For Andrs, soccer was a
teacher and took his role as an important figure and idol in the Colombian community as a catalyst for
change. Pablo Escobars love of the game was as fierce as Andrs. The problem began when Rene
Higuitas visit to Pablo Escobar in prison was feared to have had a negative impact on Colombias
international image and reputation, their banner to the rest of the world. Higuita was arrested soon after
that visit, which may have been the cause for said arrest to begin with. In the way that Andrs hoped to
improve the living conditions of the poor, Pablo carried out those actions, however, probably not in the
best way. Soon, the national team and Escobar began a relationship; one that Andrs was not the least bit
comfortable with. Unfortunately, he had no choice but to do sothe drug kingpins cartel was gaining
more and more control over the national soccer team. Money laundering to legitimize earnings required a
middleman, which Colombias national team eventually became, and Escobars wealth and callousness
proved limitless. However, the determination of the U.S. government and the Cali Cartel proved a
considerable match for Escobar. On December 2, 1993, the DEA, Colombias police force, and Los
Pepes coordination enabled forces to close in on Pablo Escobar and kill him. Following the loss of the
Colombian team to Romania, the team began to receive many threats of violence and death, marking the
beginning of a psychological crisis that affected each team member. Much money had been lost in that
time of the regional rivalry; value in the team was decreasing after the loss. Following Pablo Escobars
death and the subsequent disarray of Colombia, Andrs Escobar was weighing the offers of playing
professionally in either Mexico or Milan, in addition to being engaged to his girlfriend. During a time
when the country that he much loved was in such a time of turmoil following the death of someone who
was considered a hero, Andrs live was starting to come togetheruntil the 1994 FIFA World Cup
competition. The game against the United States proved to be a tough one, the team attacking from all
angles, but unable to score against the other team. In a moment, Andrs Escobar made a mistake that
maybe even ultimately cost him his life: he kicked the ball into the U.S. goal, otherwise known as an
own goal, eliminating Colombia from the FIFA World Cup altogether. The team numb and Andrs
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devastated, the entire climate changed with the end of the national team. On the evening of July 1, 1994,
Andrs Escobar was shot six time in his car and was rushed to the hospital, where he died.
Part II: Historical and Cultural Differences
Given the conditions of Colombia and the environment that it creates for its citizens, Latin
Americas history of colonialism and economic ups and downs lend themselves to unfavorable and
sometimes unbearable lives for the populations. The history of Latin America shows that there have
always been figures for the population of any given country to look up to, respect, idolize, or even fear.
Much political and economic downturn has plagued many Latin American countries. The lack of presence
of the state in Colombia made it easier for the operations of the illegal drug trade to flourish. Colonization
of the Americas, by both the Spanish and the Portuguese, were motivated by the search for wealth and
personal economic success. Foreign intervention led to the complete eradication of the native population
and of indigenous culture. Power structures based on castes and nobility changed, resulting in the deaths
of many powerful leaders and the loss of the high social status of the upper classes as a whole. In turn, the
native populations had continued to be completely marginalized as well. Corrupt government had been a
problem since the early 1920s on through the 1930s, particularly in Cuba. Regimes of all kinds had
started to gain traction and following throughout Latin America. The legacy of colonialism in Latin
America has taught me that the turbulent political systems in the area do not make the conditions for its
citizens easy to live within. The poor often have, do and will get the short end of the stick, particularly the
indigenous people who deal with the elimination of their culture. Colonial society was stratified by race
and wealth, an unequal distribution especially among the poor. This continued culture can explain why
Pablo Escobar was seen as sort of a savior to the poor, especially in the way that he essentially built
communities for the impoverished and poor community members of Colombia.
Part III: Personal Reflection

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As previously said, there was a severe lack of state and governmental presence in Colombia from
the 1970s to the 1990s, in which Pablo Escobar had a stronghold on the illegal drug trade. The United
States Drug Enforcement Agency tracked the phenomenon of narco-soccer, linked completely to Pablo
Escobar. The declared war on drugs saw Colombia as the front line to attack. The government also
favored extradition, something that Pablo Escobar was adamant about eliminating, out of fervent support
for his community and to be elected to the House of Representatives. The Colombian community,
especially the lower class, favored Escobar in the elections to the HoR, granting him diplomatic
immunity, which did not sit well with the Minister of Justice, who incited Escobars removala move
that cost him his life. Following his assassination, it became the primary goal of the Colombian
government to take down Escobars drug cartel, however, Pablo Escobar remained steadfast in his forcing
the president to abolish extradition in exchange for turning himself in to the authorities. The involvement
of the U.S.A created the opportunity to take down Pablo Escobar, finally, but I do not agree that it was
appropriate. In threatening and murdering the family members of Pablo Escobar, doing the exact things
that he and his cartel were involved in, and having them work for Los Pepes in retaliation against Escobar
seems counterproductive to me. The Cali Cartel was soon to rise up in the ranks as the newest and most
powerful of drug cartels after the fall of Pablo Escobars empire following his death. The Colombian
government considered Escobar deranged and he and his cartel were not to be tolerated any longer.
Escobar was determined to have rather died in Colombia than be jailed within the United States, which
set off a barrage of attacks from both sides of the fight.
The carnage and brutal behavior on both sidesPablo Escobar and the Colombian and U.S.
governmentcould have been avoided. Countless planned and unplanned attacks, assassinations and
more took the lives of many, mostly innocent citizens. Authorities and criminals were battling in the
streets, endangering the lives of many. More than a thousand cops were injured, in addition to nearly 600
being murdered.

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My views on Latin American society, political, and social systems have always been quite
sympathetic toward those living there. Realizing the privilege that I have as an American citizen and
being able to appreciate that things such as drug cartels do not have a direct effect on my daily life and the
lives of those around me, causing such turmoil within the nation, it makes me even more sympathetic.
Colonialism has run rampant in the history of Latin America, and like discussed before, it has shaped and
influenced the lives of all citizens.

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