On November 30, Club illico began streaming its first original documentary series, Pablo Escobar raconté par son fils. The small Québec team behind the project won the trust of Sebastian Marroquin, the drug lord’s son, and gained access to previously unseen images and untold stories. The Collective takes a look at an uncommon collaboration based on a common desire to show the other side of Pablo Escobar’s all-too-frequently romanticized life.

“Your interview with Sebastian Marroquin is confirmed for 4 p.m. today.” The message makes us a bit giddy. It’s not every day you have an interview with Pablo Escobar’s son on your calendar. Especially since the man doesn’t love to talk to the media.


It’s understandable that Sebastian Marroquin would be media-shy. Being the son of one of the 20th century’s biggest drug kingpins has got to be weird. The fantasies swirling around the life of Pablo Escobar know no bounds and are constantly being spread further afield and to new generations by movies and television series about his story.

“I’m always intrigued when I see totally false information about my father, his life and our family in the media. They make up stories that will sell and don’t care whether they’re true. I don’t like that approach. My father’s life shouldn’t be glamourized,” says the man once known as Juan Pablo Escobar. He has since ditched the family name; his father’s legacy was already heavy enough to bear without it.

Sebastian knows no one blames him for his father’s deeds but he still thinks he owes the victims and their families the truth. In fact, he has turned it into his mission in life and has spent the last few years making documentaries, writing books and giving speeches.

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The most famous drugdealer like you’ve never seen him

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Sebastian Marroquin is determined to give people a clearer picture of his father’s daily life and of the man behind the image of the blood-soaked drug trafficker, without glorifying him or turning him into a role model. To show the human being behind the myth.

That was also what producer Éric Hébert and director Olivier Aghaby wanted to do in their Club illico documentary series. The Québec filmmakers managed to win the trust of Pablo Escobar’s son and make a unique documentary including never-before-seen images from the family archives.

“The filmmaking team and I struck up an instant understanding. I knew right away that we would produce a documentary that I would be happy with and different from anything done before. I wasn’t wrong: I’m very satisfied with the result.”

The collaboration with the Québec film crew worked out so well that Sebastian Marroquin and Éric Hébert are already hatching other projects through their joint production company Fredonian.

One of them is a documentary about Maria Victoria Henano, beloved wife of Pablo Escobar and Sebastian’s mother. The woman known as Tata spoke in public for the first time in Pablo Escobar raconté par son fils, another coup for the Club illico series and proof positive of the special relationship that developed between Sebastian and the Quebecers.

“I have deep respect for Canadians. I find they’re honest and unprejudiced. It’s very important for me to surround myself with people like that because I want to send out a responsible message.”


Sebastian Marroquin wants to speak to young people in particular. Every day, he receives messages from teens around the world who worship his father. He tells kids who see drug trafficking as a promising career option that there is never a happy end to that story.

“No, dressing up as Escobar for Halloween is not funny. No, getting a Pablo tattoo is not cool. My father’s actions had dire consequences and portraying him as a model of success is clueless and indeed dangerous. I’ve been fighting that and I will continue to do so.”

While the documentary is uncompromising about Pablo Escobar’s dark side, it also includes some touching scenes. The filmmakers gradually got Sebastian Marroquin to open up and talk about his childhood with simplicity.

“Clearly our family wasn’t like any other but one thing is certain: we loved each other. I think that’s why I didn’t follow in my father’s footsteps: when you grow up in a home filled with love, you have no reason to take the path of crime. As Pablo Escobar’s child I soon realized that, and it’s what I try to instill in my son today.”

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