The son of the late Colombian drug-lord Pablo Escobar says a glorified Hollywood image of gangster life has wrongfully inspired young people to seek a life of crime.
"Today, 30 years after his death, Pablo Escobar generates more news than when he was alive," Sebastián Marroquín said of his late father at an event in the Chilean capital.
Marroquín travelled to Santiago to shares his life story at the invitation of local municipalities and the Council for Transparency at a time when organised crime activities in tChile are reportedly on the rise
Marroquín, 45, who dropped his father's surname in disgust decades ago, said he hears from young fans of the Colombian drug kingpin frequently.
"Many young people write to me to say: I saw the movie [or] I saw the series, and I want to be like your father," Marroquín said.
Marroquín, who is an architect and lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was referring not only to shows like the 2012 Netflix series El Patron del Mal – a look at how Escobar rose from petty crime to lead the world's biggest drug cartel – but also to general media coverage of what he called "narco culture."
Police gunned down Escobar in 1993 as he fled across rooftops in his native Medellín, hub of his narcotics empire. Estimates set the net worth of "The King of Cocaine" between US$25 billion and US$37 billion by the time of his death.
"My father should not be treated as an example of success because he could never enjoy anything," Marroquín said. "I feel far richer than my father because I am a free man."
Asked how drug-trafficking should be defeated, Marroquín said drugs should be legalised because "all this machinery of prohibition" has fuelled crime.