We love Pablo, we hate politicians. The repercussions of Escobar, the patron of evil
Narcocorridos, narcoculture, narcotelenovelas… narcophilosophy? The telenovela Escobar, el patron del mal was a resounding success in Colombia but also a profitable export product, whose rating was replicated in all the countries of the region where it was broadcast. It is said that the series was made so that Colombians who did not know him would detest Escobar forever. But the opposite happened. Rating and an international story were wanted, and they were achieved. The thing about dignifying the victims and creating Pablo as the evil one was just marketing intent.
Escobar, the patron of evil was a success throughout the world which shows that crime does pay. And it is that, in our society, we are more interested in knowing what the bad guys are made of than the good guys. The series was promoted as a version from “the good guys”: Luis Carlos Galán and Rodrigo Lara (the politicians assassinated by Pablo Escobar), Guillermo Cano (the heroic journalist from El Espectador who fought against Escobar) and César Gaviria (the president who killed him). chased).
The producers (Canal Caracol and two Escobar victims: Juana Uribe and Camilo Cano) affirmed that this series was the truth of the victims and the testimony of the courage of the Colombian State that fought against Evil embodied by the most famous drug trafficker in the world. But the result was, paradoxically, the opposite: Escobar came out vindicated as the hero of Colombia, and the journalists, politicians and rulers saw themselves as boring soulless people who dedicated themselves to persecuting “poor Pablo.” Apology of the crime? No So? Simply, a reflection of the ways of thinking in Colombia, where there is more dignity and truth in drug traffickers than in politicians.
The phenomenon: narco soap operas
Narco soap operas enchant because they generate identification and recognition in popular subjects (and not so much). Therefore, they are seen with enjoyment and pleasure in all countries. That drug trafficking is Colombia’s moral and social reference is due to the fact that it is a nation marked by this phenomenon since the 1970s. The first government accused of having “business” with drug traffickers was that of Alfonso López Michelsen (1974-1978). ; At that time, the drug traffickers offered to pay the country’s foreign debt so that they would leave them in peace with their activities. This means that, as a nation, we have been living with and celebrating drug traffickers for almost half a century. Drug trafficking is our great national issue.
The television phenomenon of narco-telenovelas is, however, of this 21st century. And it happened because Colombia, in some way more symbolic than real, feels that the drug problem is no longer our present, that it is a thing of the past and that now this phenomenon belongs more to Mexicans and to the rest of Latin America. This feeling appears in the eight years of the government of Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010), who spoke little about drug traffickers while, through the demobilization of the paramilitaries, many drug fortunes were laundered and the focus of the nation’s tragedy was concentrated on terrorism. so-called “guerrilla” of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). So, since it was already a problem (symbolically) overcome, it was possible to tell about it on television.
The difference between narco-telenovelas and classic soap operas and series is that: a) they have documentary truth and an almost neorealist tone about this fascinating but everyday forbidden world of drug trafficking, and thus love is forgotten as the axis; b) the vitality of language and aesthetics leads to there being no saving or dignifying morality, as exists in conventional soap operas; on the contrary, that postmodern morality of anything goes to have a ticket and be successful appears; c) the tone is not one of melodrama but of announced tragedy, but with comedy modulation; d) the characters respond to the aesthetics of the grotesque of the nouveau riche, of the aspirational subject of the market society, the one who from his ways of dressing and acting already produces chills or laughter; e) its rhythm is frenetic, its excess is amazing and its languages are realistic, thus defeating the slowness and solemnity of the telenovela.