For someone to be successful in life, it requires not just the hard work or the wealth; but also the wisdom to make the right decisions. Just like the infamous Pablo Escobar, a drug cartel owner and one of the richest men in the world. He devoted his life to creating huge wealth through the most scandalous means, but little did he know that life isn’t always a bed of roses. With a net worth of $30 billion, Pablo Escobar was considered the richest man in the world, but the story took a twist when he was murdered in 1993. Following his numerous crimes, he endangered the lives of his wife Maria Victoria Henao and two children, who were faced with the repercussion of his deeds. Read on, as we take you through all you need to know about the wife of the drug kingpin below.
Who is Maria Victoria Henao?
The lesser-known Maria Victoria Henao is a Colombian businesswoman and fashion designer; notable for being the widow of the infamous Colombian narcoterrorist and drug baron Pablo Escobar also known as The King of Cocaine. She was born in Colombia in 1961 and was raised along with her two brothers Mario Henao and Pastora Henao. When she was thirteen, Maria fell in love with Pablo Escobar the Colombian drug lord. At the time, Pablo was still organizing his cartel and Maria’s older brother was one of his associates. Although her family was against her relationship with the drug baron, Maria went on to marry Pablo after two years of romantic relationship. The duo first eloped and later got hitched in March 1976, at the time of their wedding; Pablo was 26 while Maria was 15 years old.
After their marriage, Maria Victoria Henao and Pablo welcomed their first child Juan P Escobar in 1977 and later in 1984; they welcomed another child, a daughter Manuela Escobar. The love between them continued to blossom for seventeen years before it abruptly came to an end in 1993. Although they were as rich as they could be, life wasn’t all rosy for Maria and her family; they were always hiding from Pablo’s rivals and government officials. This made it impossible for her children to receive formal education and were homeschooled instead.
Despite the moving around in hiding, Pablo Escobar was killed on December 2, 1993, at the rooftop of one of his hideouts in Medellin, Colombia. Shortly afterward, Maria became a fugitive going into hiding from Pablo’s rivals as well as the Colombian police. Since she had ended her relationship with her family after her marriage to Pablo, she had no one to run to for help. While the tension was so high, Maria fled the country with her two children to seek asylum in several countries including Mozambique and Brazil. Later on, they settled in Argentina.
Is She Dead?
At the time of Pablo Escobar’s death in one of his hideouts in Medellin, many people thought that Henao was also killed in the process. However, the speculations continued and the news was all over the media. After a while, it was discovered that Henao had survived and had fled from Colombia with her two children. With new identities, Maria and her two children settled in Argentina, where they started life afresh. Her name changed from Maria Escobar to Maria Isabel Santos while that of her daughter became Juana Manuela Marroquin Santos and her son became Sebastian Marroquin.
Despite, the kind of effort they put into protecting their identities, Maria, and her children were later discovered by Argentine authorities during a television show in 2000. During the show, it was revealed that the Escobars’ were taking heed in their country and after the show; Maria along with her son Sebastian was arrested. Following a series of investigations linking her to her husband’s business; they were later released since the allegations could not be proven.
Additionally, the Netflix series titled Narcos was inspired by the story of the drug lord. The series follows the rise of the cocaine trade in Colombia; as well as the stories of drug lords such as Pablo Escobar and has been airing since 2015. Maria Victoria Henao currently resides in Bueno Aires with her children. She has been keeping a low profile to avoid unnecessary media attention.