October 18, 2012 | 9:30am
"In no way whatsoever do we intend to vindicate the public image of Pablo Escobar Gaviria," reads the opening page of the Escobar Henao website, "since we manifest our explicit rejection to his acts of violence. Neither do we pretend to promote or eulogize the life of crime."
The fashion line is helmed by none other than Sebastian Marroquin, son of Colombian drug lord Escobar himself. Marroquin has distanced himself from his family's past since his father's death in 1993, changing his name from Juan Pablo Escobar Henao and apologizing to his father's victims in a documentary called Sins of my Father.
Now, however, he seems to be embracing the Escobar name
once again to make further statements against crime and violence. But some critics say Marroquin's designs are supporting the world's fascination with one if its most famous criminals.
Escobar Henao t-shirts feature images from Pablo Escobar's driver's license, student ID, and other representations of Escobar, paired with slogans like "Nice pace, but wrong way" and "What's your future looking like?"
Vicente Sanchez, a researcher at Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Mexico, where the shirts have become popular among young people, told Reuters
, "I see it as a strong symbolic product. The state ... has to have a better grasp of things directed at young people, as that's the way that these anti-values gain ground."
But Marroquin contends that the media that's criticizing him helped create the air of mystique and glamour surrounding the drug trade and its stars: ""Those who set out to criticize me are the same who have profited from the story, life and name of Pablo Escobar."