Before Shakira came along with her truthful hips and waka waka'ed her way into the global consciousness, the most famous Colombian in the world was probably Pablo Escobar. Even though he was shot dead in 1993, when I was only 12 years old, the iconic image of him with his moustache and 70's pornstar hair are deeply seated in my popular culture unconscious. Perhaps because he has been used as the template for every Latin American drug baron in every single film since then, from the low budget El Mariachi, to big, Hollywood blockbusters. Often they'll have an exotic eccentricity, like a a killer pet iguana, just like Pablo who kept a small menagerie of hippos (who have since escaped and become a feral nuisance on the lower Magdalena river).
|The modern image of Medellin that the authorities want to promote: vibrant, affluent and cutting edge.|