At the height of Pablo Escobar’s reign, Bernardo Aparicio García was enjoying his childhood in Colombia. He recounts those years during the narcoterrorism era in a first person essay for Vox.com, that and his thoughts on Netflix original series Narcos.
“The bizarre thing about living in Colombia during the ’80s and ’90s was how normal it seemed to be,” says García. “My childhood was in many ways indistinguishable from that of an American boy in an upper-middle-class suburb.”
Those were his memories, but after a group of coworkers kept buzzing about all the plot twists of the much-talked about series, García finally gave in and gave the show a try. Perhaps the decision would have help him in his walk down memory lane?
“Watching Narcos seemed like grabbing a bag of popcorn and watching my country burn,” confesses García. “I remember the utter fear I had of Escobar as a child, and I remember the glorious sense of relief I felt the day he was finally vanquished. It was as if Satan and all his hosts had been defeated for good. With each episode of Narcos, the memories keep coming. One of the most eye-opening things about watching Narcos was realizing how significantly the drug wars shaped my world, despite my parents’ best efforts to insulate me.”
For all the debate on the authenticity of the series and specualtion it perpetuates stereoptypes of Colombia, García applauds Narcos.
“The mere fact that a show like this exists is evidence of how far we have come. Violence and the drug trade still play a part in the country’s public life.”
Read Garcia’s full essay, here.