Luz Marina Escobar, the sister of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, said in an interview with Efe that she was marking the 20th anniversary of the late Medellin drug cartel leader's death by visiting his tomb on Sunday and "honoring the victims of drug-related violence, specifically that unleashed by Pablo."
Escobar said that even though the anniversary of her brother's death was not until Monday, the events organized to mark his killing by the security forces were taking place on Dec. 1, which would have been his 64th birthday.
"The event will be at the Jardines Montesacro cemetery and there will be a Mass with the theme, 'The Seed of Forgiveness.' It has a heart as a symbol and a seed that we are going to spread so that it will germinate forgiveness in the heart of each one," Luz Marina Escobar said.
Pablo Escobar, considered the world's wealthiest and most powerful drug trafficker, was killed in a Dec. 3, 1993, shootout with police in Medellin, the capital of the northwestern province of Antioquia.
Escobar and his Medellin were blamed for thousands of killings and terrorist attacks in Colombia in the 1980s and 1990s.
Escobar's son, Juan Sebastian Marroquin, said in an interview published Sunday by the Austrian press that his father was used as a "scapegoat," with officials blaming him for crimes he did not commit.
"My father serves as a gigantic scapegoat in Colombia, where he is blamed for crimes committed by others," Marroquin told Die Presse.
Marroquin, whose birth name was Juan Pablo Escobar, changed his name following his father's death.
The businessman does not argue that Escobar was innocent or deny that the late drug lord was behind many crimes, but he contends that many crimes have been falsely attributed to him.
"That's very easy. Yes, he, the late Pablo Escobar, gets the blame for everything and that way you don't have to keep talking about it or investigating. That way everybody is happy," Marroquin said.
Pablo Escobar was a man of contradictions, a generous individual but also extremely violent, Marroquin said, adding that "the true story has still not been written."
President Juan Manuel Santos, meanwhile, acknowledged in a commentary published Sunday that Escobar's death did not lead to the end of the illegal drug trade in Colombia.
"Much still needs to be done to finish it," the president said in a newspaper supplement prepared by the National Police. EFE