What is the accuracy of Narcos’ portrayal of Pablo Escobar?

How accurate is Pablo Escobar's portrayal in the Narcos? What are the differences between the real life Escobar and the one we see on the screen?

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The portrayal of Pablo Escobar in Netflix's "Narcos" can be considered a combination of historical accuracy and dramatic license. While the series is grounded in many factual events, there are also plenty of embellishments and alterations for the purpose of storytelling. 1. Escobar's Persona: Actor Wagner Moura successfully captures the personality of Escobar - his charisma, ruthlessness, and belief in social justice. However, real-life acquaintances of Escobar have noted that his behavior was not as 'heroic' or bold as it is in the show. 2. The Events: While "Narcos" depicts several real-life events such as the Palace of Justice Siege (1985) and the assassinations of many politicians and law enforcement officers, it still employs some creative liberty. For example, the timeline of certain events and the extent of Escobar's involvement is sometimes altered for dramatic effect. 3. Escobar’s Relationship: The show depicts a close relationship between him and his wife Tata, which aligns with accounts from those close to him. However, some instances like his involvement with journalist Valeria Velez (based on Virginia Vallejo in real life) are exaggerated for plot development. 4. Law Enforcements' Role: The show emphasizes the roles of DEA agents Murphy and Pena in the downfall of Escobar. In reality, the Colombian National Police, Colombian government, and other law enforcement agencies played major roles, that the series often downplays. 5. Death: Narcos depicts Escobar's death in a shootout on the rooftops of Medellin, Colombia. Controversy surrounds his death; some believe it was due to police while others maintain that he shot himself. In conclusion, it's important to view "Narcos" as a dramatized version of true events. While still providing viewers with an insight into the world of Pablo Escobar and drug cartels, it is not a 100% accurate representation of history and often resorts to dramatization for the sake of entertainment.
Answered on September 14, 2023.
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