Narcos | Vital Football

Narcos

mehmets_curlies

Vital Squad Member
#1
Anyone seen this Netflix series? I am halfway through season 3, which is a bit of a comedown when compared to 1 and 2. The first 2 seasons telling the story, with a bit of artistic license, of Pablo Escobars rise and fall are superb. The guy playing Escobar, Wagner Moura, is brilliant. It raises an interesting point. The man was pure evil, but with his riches he provided for the poor of Medellin to such an extent that he was thought of as a Robin Hood type character. It proves that, in general, when people are desperate they really don't care where their food/money/housing comes from and they are not overly bothered about the impact on others. My question is would you have taken his charity if you knew that it was at the expense of others, even causing death?
 

Buddha

Vital 1st Team Regular
#2
Anyone seen this Netflix series? I am halfway through season 3, which is a bit of a comedown when compared to 1 and 2. The first 2 seasons telling the story, with a bit of artistic license, of Pablo Escobars rise and fall are superb. The guy playing Escobar, Wagner Moura, is brilliant. It raises an interesting point. The man was pure evil, but with his riches he provided for the poor of Medellin to such an extent that he was thought of as a Robin Hood type character. It proves that, in general, when people are desperate they really don't care where their food/money/housing comes from and they are not overly bothered about the impact on others. My question is would you have taken his charity if you knew that it was at the expense of others, even causing death?
I've seen the first two series and, like you, enjoyed them very much. I started series 3 but again, like you, was disappointed and it lost my attention.

Pablo Escobar is an interesting figure (and the actor is good, aint he?!). I'm not sure that I agree with you that he was 'pure evil'. I'd agree that he committed very many evil crimes and that by the time he got shot dead he was consumed by evil.

However, the reason that he was so loved by the community was because he did provide for them in a way that nobody else was, or had done previously. He really was a Robin Hood figure. And in the early days he didn't need to commit any really evil crimes against innocent people, that all came later.

I'm not really defending Escobar here. It seems pretty obvious that once he'd started to establish himself it was inevitable that he was going to have to commit more and more evil crimes just to continue to survive and maintain his control. But I think it was that that made him 'evil' rather than being evil to begin with. For me the very fact that he was so loved and adored by people (over 25,000 mourners at his funeral) is testament to the fact that as well as committing heinous crimes he definitely did a lot of good for a lot of people. Perhaps not, 'pure evil', but rather, 'corrupted by money and power to the extent of evil'.

In answer to your question, yes, when people are desperate then it's unlikely that they're going to consider the well-being of people in a far away and wealthy land. Why would the poor people of Medellin be concerned about the problems that cocaine was causing in the United States? They had far more pressing problems of their own. And if wass cocaine money helping them out of poverty, well then that's still better than no money and no help.

It's all very well considering from a wealthy western perspective whether or not it would be morally acceptable to receive charity if you knew it was being funded by evil things but that's not the same as actually living in conditions of poverty with no real hospitals or schools and then considering the question. The wealth of this country was created through largely evil means and loads of people have been killed to secure to wealth, power and territory. We and generations before us have all benefited from the crimes of the past. Do we question this? Maybe now we are just beginning to. But it has taken time for us to reach this stage.

I don't think you can blame those poor Colombians for idolising Escobar. They've probably got it wrong, his crimes mean he probably doesn't deserve such adoration. But had things not been so shit to begin with he'd not have had that opportunity. He did have the opportunity and he did some good with the wealth he created.

All in all probably some parallels with Colston. A man who made his wealth in an immoral way and through evil acts but who spent their ill-gotten gain improving the lives of the poor. Celebrated by the poor at the time but, after reflection, probably not deserving of a statue to memorialise him.
 

LockdownLife

Vital Reserves Team
#3
Great show. I would agree it's not the same once it's about Mexico. Partly because the real story just isn't as fascinating to us.

Buddha's reply is pretty fair. But I'll add my 2 cents as I've spent 3.5 months in Medellín over 2 spells (2016 and 2018).

Both times I stayed with the parents of a Colombian I know. They were in their 60s so remember before, during and after the Pablo years. I also got to know a lot of locals through them.

The view shared there is that his positive impact is massively overplayed by stories of the time. Yes he did some good stuff but in the grand scheme of things it was insignificant. He also wasn't doing it out of the good of his heart - he was doing it to essentially own those poor people and keep his power and illegal enterprise.

In reality he brought the city, and somewhat the country, to it's knees. A guy who was teaching me Spanish lost his entire family bar his mum to cartel violence. Children didn't blink an eye walking to school with dead bodies on the street. Building some schools and football pitches were just vanity projects to keep his 'Robin Hood' image.

I did not meet a single person who had a good thing to say about him and I have been to those areas he helped. I do understand why the poor people would take anything he offered though. I agree why should they care about the problems in the US but the problems in Medellín were an order of magnitude worse.

They're ashamed of the period, so much so on the free walking tour (best one I've ever done btw) they don't even say his name - they call him Voldermort. This is done so the locals don't think they're talking about Escobar and think it's narco tourism. It's the same when chatting with my friends in public, you essentially don't mention him by name.

As a gringo if you admit to taking any form of drugs you will be shunned and struggle to make friends with locals. They have all seen first hand the utter, utter devastation it causes (when it involves any cartels, trafficking etc.)

What they are proud of is how far they've come, and the spirit they've shown to get this far together. Medellín is my favourite place on earth and the people are the best I've ever met. The women are incredible too 😉. I'd thoroughly recommend going just don't go to be an Escobar tourist - you'll miss all the good stuff.

TL;DR
Yes Escobar did some good stuff but don't believe the hype on the extent of it.

Also spent quite a lot of time in Mexico and almost moved to Guadalajara for a girl. They're obviously much further behind beating the cartels than Colombia so they're seeing a lot of the same problems.

Apologies for the essay!
 

Buddha

Vital 1st Team Regular
#4
Great show. I would agree it's not the same once it's about Mexico. Partly because the real story just isn't as fascinating to us.

Buddha's reply is pretty fair. But I'll add my 2 cents as I've spent 3.5 months in Medellín over 2 spells (2016 and 2018).

Both times I stayed with the parents of a Colombian I know. They were in their 60s so remember before, during and after the Pablo years. I also got to know a lot of locals through them.

The view shared there is that his positive impact is massively overplayed by stories of the time. Yes he did some good stuff but in the grand scheme of things it was insignificant. He also wasn't doing it out of the good of his heart - he was doing it to essentially own those poor people and keep his power and illegal enterprise.

In reality he brought the city, and somewhat the country, to it's knees. A guy who was teaching me Spanish lost his entire family bar his mum to cartel violence. Children didn't blink an eye walking to school with dead bodies on the street. Building some schools and football pitches were just vanity projects to keep his 'Robin Hood' image.

I did not meet a single person who had a good thing to say about him and I have been to those areas he helped. I do understand why the poor people would take anything he offered though. I agree why should they care about the problems in the US but the problems in Medellín were an order of magnitude worse.

They're ashamed of the period, so much so on the free walking tour (best one I've ever done btw) they don't even say his name - they call him Voldermort. This is done so the locals don't think they're talking about Escobar and think it's narco tourism. It's the same when chatting with my friends in public, you essentially don't mention him by name.

As a gringo if you admit to taking any form of drugs you will be shunned and struggle to make friends with locals. They have all seen first hand the utter, utter devastation it causes (when it involves any cartels, trafficking etc.)

What they are proud of is how far they've come, and the spirit they've shown to get this far together. Medellín is my favourite place on earth and the people are the best I've ever met. The women are incredible too 😉. I'd thoroughly recommend going just don't go to be an Escobar tourist - you'll miss all the good stuff.

TL;DR
Yes Escobar did some good stuff but don't believe the hype on the extent of it.

Also spent quite a lot of time in Mexico and almost moved to Guadalajara for a girl. They're obviously much further behind beating the cartels than Colombia so they're seeing a lot of the same problems.

Apologies for the essay!
No need to apologise. That was a very interesting insight. Really good to hear that people don't have good things to say about him and that they realise his efforts to help were actually a way of gaining power and control.

It's not a bad thing that his money helped the poor but it is a bad thing that it needed someone with the wrong motivation to help.

I'd love to visit the city and the country.
 

LockdownLife

Vital Reserves Team
#5
I'm sure there must be people that like/liked him and it's quite probable I wouldn't ever meet them as they will be incredibly poor.

Very good point about the poor being desperate enough to need the help from such a man. Thinking about it some of the drive that the people have to grow and improve will be a direct result of him. He helped them see the worst and they had no-one but each other work with to improve things.

Its honestly an amazing country, I'd happily move there. Such variety in cities, towns, landscapes and history. They even have some English speaking islands in Central America.

If you ever go there or anywhere in Central America, and a lot of South America then I can give you some tips if you need 👍
 

Nobby_66

Vital 1st Team Regular
#6
I've seen the first two series and, like you, enjoyed them very much. I started series 3 but again, like you, was disappointed and it lost my attention.

Pablo Escobar is an interesting figure (and the actor is good, aint he?!). I'm not sure that I agree with you that he was 'pure evil'. I'd agree that he committed very many evil crimes and that by the time he got shot dead he was consumed by evil.

However, the reason that he was so loved by the community was because he did provide for them in a way that nobody else was, or had done previously. He really was a Robin Hood figure. And in the early days he didn't need to commit any really evil crimes against innocent people, that all came later.

I'm not really defending Escobar here. It seems pretty obvious that once he'd started to establish himself it was inevitable that he was going to have to commit more and more evil crimes just to continue to survive and maintain his control. But I think it was that that made him 'evil' rather than being evil to begin with. For me the very fact that he was so loved and adored by people (over 25,000 mourners at his funeral) is testament to the fact that as well as committing heinous crimes he definitely did a lot of good for a lot of people. Perhaps not, 'pure evil', but rather, 'corrupted by money and power to the extent of evil'.

In answer to your question, yes, when people are desperate then it's unlikely that they're going to consider the well-being of people in a far away and wealthy land. Why would the poor people of Medellin be concerned about the problems that cocaine was causing in the United States? They had far more pressing problems of their own. And if wass cocaine money helping them out of poverty, well then that's still better than no money and no help.

It's all very well considering from a wealthy western perspective whether or not it would be morally acceptable to receive charity if you knew it was being funded by evil things but that's not the same as actually living in conditions of poverty with no real hospitals or schools and then considering the question. The wealth of this country was created through largely evil means and loads of people have been killed to secure to wealth, power and territory. We and generations before us have all benefited from the crimes of the past. Do we question this? Maybe now we are just beginning to. But it has taken time for us to reach this stage.

I don't think you can blame those poor Colombians for idolising Escobar. They've probably got it wrong, his crimes mean he probably doesn't deserve such adoration. But had things not been so shit to begin with he'd not have had that opportunity. He did have the opportunity and he did some good with the wealth he created.

All in all probably some parallels with Colston. A man who made his wealth in an immoral way and through evil acts but who spent their ill-gotten gain improving the lives of the poor. Celebrated by the poor at the time but, after reflection, probably not deserving of a statue to memorialise him.
He got shot dead? Ffs, you've spoilt the end now 😒
 

ME8_Gills

Vital Reserves Team
#7
I haven't read all of the above posts yet as I'm in the middle of series 2. Amazing the amount of bombings, killing of police etc something like 400 per year. Fantastic acting based on true events.
Well worth watching.
 

shotshy

Vital 1st Team Regular
#8
I binge watched series 1 and 2 but haven’t bothered with 3.
Sometimes, they just do it to death to sell the series.
Sicario 1 and 2 are excellent if you like that sort of thing.
 

SE1_Gills

Vital Squad Member
#9
Great show. I would agree it's not the same once it's about Mexico. Partly because the real story just isn't as fascinating to us.

Buddha's reply is pretty fair. But I'll add my 2 cents as I've spent 3.5 months in Medellín over 2 spells (2016 and 2018).

Both times I stayed with the parents of a Colombian I know. They were in their 60s so remember before, during and after the Pablo years. I also got to know a lot of locals through them.

The view shared there is that his positive impact is massively overplayed by stories of the time. Yes he did some good stuff but in the grand scheme of things it was insignificant. He also wasn't doing it out of the good of his heart - he was doing it to essentially own those poor people and keep his power and illegal enterprise.

In reality he brought the city, and somewhat the country, to it's knees. A guy who was teaching me Spanish lost his entire family bar his mum to cartel violence. Children didn't blink an eye walking to school with dead bodies on the street. Building some schools and football pitches were just vanity projects to keep his 'Robin Hood' image.

I did not meet a single person who had a good thing to say about him and I have been to those areas he helped. I do understand why the poor people would take anything he offered though. I agree why should they care about the problems in the US but the problems in Medellín were an order of magnitude worse.

They're ashamed of the period, so much so on the free walking tour (best one I've ever done btw) they don't even say his name - they call him Voldermort. This is done so the locals don't think they're talking about Escobar and think it's narco tourism. It's the same when chatting with my friends in public, you essentially don't mention him by name.

As a gringo if you admit to taking any form of drugs you will be shunned and struggle to make friends with locals. They have all seen first hand the utter, utter devastation it causes (when it involves any cartels, trafficking etc.)

What they are proud of is how far they've come, and the spirit they've shown to get this far together. Medellín is my favourite place on earth and the people are the best I've ever met. The women are incredible too 😉. I'd thoroughly recommend going just don't go to be an Escobar tourist - you'll miss all the good stuff.

TL;DR
Yes Escobar did some good stuff but don't believe the hype on the extent of it.

Also spent quite a lot of time in Mexico and almost moved to Guadalajara for a girl. They're obviously much further behind beating the cartels than Colombia so they're seeing a lot of the same problems.

Apologies for the essay!
Really interesting post 👍🏼
 

SE1_Gills

Vital Squad Member
#10
I binge watched series 1 and 2 but haven’t bothered with 3.
Sometimes, they just do it to death to sell the series.
Sicario 1 and 2 are excellent if you like that sort of thing.
I agree with that. I think that's why I prefer to watch "box sets" a few years once they have reached a conclusion rather than getting sucked in for it to only fizzle out.
 

shotshy

Vital 1st Team Regular
#11
I agree with that. I think that's why I prefer to watch "box sets" a few years once they have reached a conclusion rather than getting sucked in for it to only fizzle out.
For some reason, I missed The Sopranos first time round.
during this lockdown, Mrs S and I sat down and watched all six series consecutively.

We literally watched nothing else until it's conclusion.

One of the happy memories of lockdown 2020.

Something to tell the grandkids.
Nanny and Grandad watch 80 consecutive episodes of Sopranos.
Bada Bing !!
 

Suffolk Gills

Vital Youth Team
#12
For some reason, I missed The Sopranos first time round.
during this lockdown, Mrs S and I sat down and watched all six series consecutively.
We are on episode 59 of 60 of Bosch - watching no other series. I prefer to spread a good series over many months - but I have been out voted ....... hang on, there are only two of us!
 
#13
Loved Narcos and Narcos Mexico...... binged it over the lockdown period...... First two series outstanding..... but I also loved Mexico.

Started to watch Chapo too .... that’s a bit more of a struggle to watch though IMO.

Interesting comments above about actually being over there and experiencing it .... the end product is always associated with glamour and excess but the reality of where it came from is a million miles away.
 

LockdownLife

Vital Reserves Team
#14
For some reason, I missed The Sopranos first time round.
during this lockdown, Mrs S and I sat down and watched all six series consecutively.

We literally watched nothing else until it's conclusion.

One of the happy memories of lockdown 2020.

Something to tell the grandkids.
Nanny and Grandad watch 80 consecutive episodes of Sopranos.
Bada Bing !!
That's an excellent show. Watched it over a few months a couple of years back.

The most annoying thing was that the only bit I'd ever seen before was the final scene which I watched accidentally years before!
 

Buddha

Vital 1st Team Regular
#15
I've still not seen the Sopranos. Keep meaning to watch it and will one day.

Do you like the opening theme music? I know one of the blokes in that band.

If you've not properly checked them out, listen to 'Exile on Coldharbour Lane'. It's a great record with some brilliant songs including, 'Bourgeoisie Blues', 'The Old Purple Tin', 'I aint Going to Goa', and 'Mao Tse Tung Said'.
 

LancsGordoRoad

Vital 1st Team Regular
#16
Great show. I would agree it's not the same once it's about Mexico. Partly because the real story just isn't as fascinating to us.

Buddha's reply is pretty fair. But I'll add my 2 cents as I've spent 3.5 months in Medellín over 2 spells (2016 and 2018).

Both times I stayed with the parents of a Colombian I know. They were in their 60s so remember before, during and after the Pablo years. I also got to know a lot of locals through them.

The view shared there is that his positive impact is massively overplayed by stories of the time. Yes he did some good stuff but in the grand scheme of things it was insignificant. He also wasn't doing it out of the good of his heart - he was doing it to essentially own those poor people and keep his power and illegal enterprise.

In reality he brought the city, and somewhat the country, to it's knees. A guy who was teaching me Spanish lost his entire family bar his mum to cartel violence. Children didn't blink an eye walking to school with dead bodies on the street. Building some schools and football pitches were just vanity projects to keep his 'Robin Hood' image.

I did not meet a single person who had a good thing to say about him and I have been to those areas he helped. I do understand why the poor people would take anything he offered though. I agree why should they care about the problems in the US but the problems in Medellín were an order of magnitude worse.

They're ashamed of the period, so much so on the free walking tour (best one I've ever done btw) they don't even say his name - they call him Voldermort. This is done so the locals don't think they're talking about Escobar and think it's narco tourism. It's the same when chatting with my friends in public, you essentially don't mention him by name.

As a gringo if you admit to taking any form of drugs you will be shunned and struggle to make friends with locals. They have all seen first hand the utter, utter devastation it causes (when it involves any cartels, trafficking etc.)

What they are proud of is how far they've come, and the spirit they've shown to get this far together. Medellín is my favourite place on earth and the people are the best I've ever met. The women are incredible too 😉. I'd thoroughly recommend going just don't go to be an Escobar tourist - you'll miss all the good stuff.

TL;DR
Yes Escobar did some good stuff but don't believe the hype on the extent of it.

Also spent quite a lot of time in Mexico and almost moved to Guadalajara for a girl. They're obviously much further behind beating the cartels than Colombia so they're seeing a lot of the same problems.

Apologies for the essay!

Thanks Lockdown, a very interesting read and nicely differentiating between reality and media/movie influenced, glossy folklore. As you imply, the "Robin Hood" cloak was merely a creation to mask the reality of his power and domination. He ruled by fear and intimidation to an extent many would find unbelievable. He created a climate where no-one, No-one, was ever going to be brave enough to give evidence against his criminal empire. Gifts of football pitches etc to the locals was simply a reminder of his power and reach.

Having said that, and in relation to the OP by Mehmets: "My question is would you have taken his charity if you knew that it was at the expense of others, even causing death? " My answer is that, had I been in the situation of the common person there at that time, then Yes, I probably would have. I`ll taper that by saying that had I been in law enforcement in that area at that time, albeit thinking about it with a distant mindset, I would not have acquiesced to corruption - so i`d probably have been shot !

It`s worth remembering that this man also had ambition to be the President of Columbia and he wasn`t that far off achieving it. Had his criminal organisation been a tad (no, a lot) more subtle it could have been a reality. But, his overt brutality and arrogant contempt, not to mention the intervention of the USA, was enough (just) to prevent Escobar getting the Presidency.

The story is typical organised crime (proper Organised Crime, not nicking cars or street supplying drugs) - Power, force, control and corruption, leading to political corruption. It`s why we should never take our eye off the ball in eastern and western Europe. The difference is that organised crime in Europe is more subtle when it comes to corrupting politics, unlike Escobar. So we should be on guard (think Moscow).
 
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Buddha

Vital 1st Team Regular
#17
Thanks Lockdown, a very interesting read and nicely differentiating between reality and media/movie influenced, glossy folklore. As you imply, the "Robin Hood" cloak was merely a creation to mask the reality of his power and domination. He ruled by fear and intimidation to an extent many would find unbelievable. He created a climate where no-one, No-one, was ever going to be brave enough to give evidence against his criminal empire. Gifts of football pitches etc to the locals was simply a reminder of his power and reach.

Having said that, and in relation to the OP by Mehmets: "My question is would you have taken his charity if you knew that it was at the expense of others, even causing death? " My answer is that, had I been in the situation of the common person there at that time, then Yes, I probably would have. I`ll taper that by saying that had I been in law enforcement in that area at that time, albeit thinking about it with a distant mindset, I would not have acquiesced to corruption - so i`d probably have been shot !

It`s worth remembering that this man also had ambition to be the President of Columbia and he wasn`t that far off achieving it. Had his criminal organisation been a tad (no, a lot) more subtle it could have been a reality. But, his overt brutality and arrogant contempt, not to mention the intervention of the USA, was enough (just) to prevent Escobar getting the Presidency.

The story is typical organised crime (proper Organised Crime, not nicking cars or street supplying drugs) - Power, force, control and corruption, leading to political corruption. It`s why we should never take our eye off the ball in eastern and western Europe. The difference is that organised crime in Europe is more subtle when it comes to corrupting politics, unlike Escobar. So we should be on guard (think Moscow).
Good post, Lancs.

It also, I think, all adds to the argument that drugs should be legalised and regulated. Some people take drugs. This has always been the case and always will be. Instead of waging an endless and unwinnable 'War on Drugs' and wasting so much money and so many lives, there should be a new global approach.

Let people who want to take drugs. Ensure that people are educated about their dangers and that Organised Crime cannot profit from the trade. Stop criminalising otherwise law abiding folk. And stop the real criminals from profiting from it. (Although the government would still profit so for me, little difference, but you lot aint anarchists, so....)

Think how much tax revenue the legalisation just of marijuana would bring in. Think about how that could be used for good.

There's also evidence that where drug laws have been relaxed the number of hard drug addicts decreases.
 

LancsGordoRoad

Vital 1st Team Regular
#18
Good post, Lancs.

It also, I think, all adds to the argument that drugs should be legalised and regulated. Some people take drugs. This has always been the case and always will be. Instead of waging an endless and unwinnable 'War on Drugs' and wasting so much money and so many lives, there should be a new global approach.

Let people who want to take drugs. Ensure that people are educated about their dangers and that Organised Crime cannot profit from the trade. Stop criminalising otherwise law abiding folk. And stop the real criminals from profiting from it. (Although the government would still profit so for me, little difference, but you lot aint anarchists, so....)

Think how much tax revenue the legalisation just of marijuana would bring in. Think about how that could be used for good.

There's also evidence that where drug laws have been relaxed the number of hard drug addicts decreases.

Whilst you`re not alone in that rationale, i`m not convinced, so shall stay neutral on the issue, Buddha.
 

shotshy

Vital 1st Team Regular
#19
I've still not seen the Sopranos. Keep meaning to watch it and will one day.

Do you like the opening theme music? I know one of the blokes in that band.

If you've not properly checked them out, listen to 'Exile on Coldharbour Lane'. It's a great record with some brilliant songs including, 'Bourgeoisie Blues', 'The Old Purple Tin', 'I aint Going to Goa', and 'Mao Tse Tung Said'.
Small world Budhha.

My wife knows Aurora , the lady singer in Alabama 3.
She’s a friend of the daughter of my wife’s friend if that makes sense.
She wasn’t aware that they sang the Sopranos theme and Aurora never mentioned it.
A really nice girl according to my missus.
 

Buddha

Vital 1st Team Regular
#20
Whilst you`re not alone in that rationale, i`m not convinced, so shall stay neutral on the issue, Buddha.
Fair enough, mate.

I have seen both sides of drugs. Have seen how they can fuck people's lives up and have lost a few friends (either dead or might as well be so) to drug abuse.

But I also know that's far from the whole story. Drugs aint necessarily a 'bad' thing.