"I Felt Great Pain Because He was the Father of my Children and my Husband," Reveals the Widow of the World’s Most Dangerous Drug Lord During Part Two of the Exclusive Interview
MIAMI, June 19, 2019 – In an exclusive interview with Telemundo’s Rashel Díaz, co-host of the network’s morning show "Un Nuevo Día," the widow of drug lord Pablo Escobar, María Isabel Santos, revealed after 25 years that she could not do anything to prevent her husband from committing attacks, and she apologized to the people of Colombia for the crimes her husband committed. She also stated that she had no say in what her husband did. During the second part airing tomorrow Thursday at 7am/6c, the author of the book “Mi Vida y mi Cárcel con Pablo Escobar” (My Life and My Prison with Pablo Escobar) answers questions regarding the call she received when she was told that her husband had died. Additionally, she discusses the pain she felt during their life together and her future. She also reveals how she was able to negotiate for her and her children’s lives with other cartel members.
Below are highlights from the first part of the interview (if you use this material, please credit Telemundo/ Un Nuevo Día):
Rashel: Why speak out after all these years?
Maria Isabel: 25 years had to go by so I’d have the courage to speak for myself. I owed this to my children and grandchildren. I had to tell them how I felt and what life was like next to Pablo Escobar.
Rashel: When did you realize or when did you find out that your husband, the man you'd married, was a drug trafficker?
Maria Isabel: Shortly after he became a congressman. Pablo was an amazing businessman. When the Justice Minister started speaking about bribes in Colombia, something that had never been talked about before, that's when the country and I started to have doubts about his situation. He would always say I had nothing to worry about, that he wasn't involved in anything and that he was actually a businessman.
Rashel: Maria Isabel, were you aware of all the terrorist attacks your husband was orchestrating?
Maria Isabel: No, I was completely in the dark. The first terrorist attack I became aware of
was the one we experienced at the Monaco. That was the start of the nightmare Colombia would experience. I was in the dark about everything. I found out about things like most Colombians did.
Rashel: If you were given a chance to speak to the thousands of victims, those who lost parents, children, or friends because of the terrorist attacks, what would you say to them?
Maria Isabel: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Once again, I'm sorry. I'm sorry to everyone who experienced
such horror and sadness. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to speak to the victims in Colombia because there's a lot of anger. They want to ignore what happened. They're upset, they're hurting. We are not responsible for what happened. I married the son of the neighborhood's watchman. We had two children and they're not responsible for anything that happened.
Rashel: Do you see yourself as a victim or an accomplice of what your husband did?
Maria Isabel: I don't consider myself a victim out of respect to the victims in Colombia. All I know is that I was the woman who married him, the one who looked after his children. I didn't get a say in what he did.
Rashel: What I'm about to ask, I ask with the utmost respect. Virginia Vallejo claims that you're now ashamed of the Escobar name, but that you're not ashamed to spend the millions he left you. What do you have to say about that?
Maria Isabel: Virginia knows nothing of my story or my reality. She was never aware of it. This has nothing to do with being ashamed of the Escobar name. In fact, we changed our names so we could find a place in a world we didn't belong. No country welcomed the Escobar Family. With respect to Pablo Escobar's millions, the Colombian authorities are well aware of this. They have his properties. Some of his enemies also kept some of his money.
Rashel: In your book, you say you were staying at Casa Azul while he was trying to negotiate his surrender with the Colombian authorities. What level of desperation drove you to say, "Let them kill the four of us"?
Maria Isabel: I was ashamed because of what I'd done to my children's lives. I was very desperate that I prayed we'd all be killed during a raid. I would watch my children while they slept at night and I'd say, "Lord, please send them tomorrow so they'll kill us." There was no other choice. What choice did we have? None. That was what I thought at the time. When I met with other cartel members and they told me what they'd do to us, that they'd cut Manuela and I in pieces, that they'd put us in a sack and send it to Pablo or dump it somewhere... It wasn't so wrong of me to ask God to have us killed the next day. The Colombian authorities told me that if I didn't talk Pablo into turning himself in in a week or three days, they'd take away our bodyguards.
Winner of three national Emmy Awards for Best Spanish-language Morning Show, Telemundo’s “Un Nuevo Día,” is hosted by Rashel Díaz, Adamari López, Hector Sandarti and Stephanie Himonidis "Chiquibaby," and airs Monday through Friday at 7-10:30am/6-9:30 CT. Throughout the three-and-a-half-hour show, viewers get the latest news updates with Paulina Sodi and cooking recipes with Chef James, among others.
Viewers can follow Un Nuevo Día hosts at Telemundo.com/UnNuevoDia, Facebook.com/UnNuevoDia and Twitter @UnNuevoDia.
Director, Alternative Programming Publicity