What Is Pablo Escobar's Wife Doing Now?

Maria Henao and her late husband, Pablo Escobar, had drastically different backgrounds. Per the Associated Press, Henao recalls in her memoir, My Life and My Prison With Pablo Escobar, that she "came from an upstanding, traditional family." Meanwhile, Escobar not only came from the wrong side of the tracks; he was a runaway train to hell. As Britannica recounts, he spent his teenage years selling phony diplomas and forging report cards before he graduated to stealing tombstones and cars. 

In the mid-1970s, when Escobar was in his mid-20s, he was well on his way to becoming a murderous drug lord. He had made a name for himself as a drug smuggler and co-founded the crime syndicate that later became the Medellín cartel. When he was 23 he began seeing Henao, who was only 12 years old. So you can add their relationship to the list of deeply disturbing crimes Escobar committed in his life. Unfortunately, the story gets worse.   

Prince Charmless

Looking back on her early days with Escobar, Maria Henao writes, "He made me feel like a fairy princess and I was convinced he was my Prince Charming." He serenaded her and lavished her with presents, including a yellow bike. The Associated Press describes the dynamic as a "courtship," though one might also call it grooming.

Henao became pregnant at age 14. She didn't even realize it at the time, she writes. Escobar forced her to get an abortion under the pretext that she was receiving a form of pregnancy prevention. At age 15 Henao tied the knot with Escobar. The couple would have a son, Juan Pablo, and a daughter, Manuela.

Maria Henao's life after Pablo's death

According to Maria Henao, her husband hid the specifics of his business from her. But eventually he had to hide from violent rivals and police. Henao focused on raising their children while Escobar focused on "blowing up a commercial jetliner," assassinating a presidential candidate, and other dastardly acts. For the better part of a decade, Henao and her children had to be blindfolded and taken to safe houses in order to see Escobar. In 1993, nowhere was safe, and the drug lord was shot to death.

Henao and her children absconded to Argentina and changed their names. Per the BBC, they used fraudulent documents to enter the country through Chile. In 1999, Henao and her son were arrested on suspicion of money laundering. In 2018 they were arrested again for allegedly helping a drug trafficker launder money. That same year, Henao's memoir hit the shelves.