|Father Rafael Garcia Herreros. Apologist for Escobar?|
The problem was where Hereros got some of the money for his good works: his best-known contributor was drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who at the same time was marketing cocaine, kidnapping and murdering politicians, massacring civilians with car bombs and in an airplane bombing, and committing endless other crimes.
|Pablo Escobar - Philanthropist?|
Herrero, who died in 1992 at age 83, actually praised Escobar on his TV program and once said of a donation from Escobar: "That's a way to do good and compensate for (Escobar's) bad actions in the past. Every man has the right to do good even if he's a guilty man, we shouldn't deny him that possibility. If you're a bad man, you feel a great interior need to do good and balance the bad you may have done."
Another time, Herreros said, justifying Escobar's donation of a piece of property to him: "We are all sinners. Let's not judge sinner or non-sinner, we're all surrounded by it....we should be sincere; all wealth come from injustice, the rich man also has his background, because he didn't pay his employees well, because he didn't give them housing and education."
By saying that, Herreros seems to be saying that Escobar was no worse than a an Apple Computer, which employed underpaid workers. That's absurd.
Herrero, however, also helped persuade Escobar to release kidnappees and to finally turn himself in in 1991.
Of course, Escobar gave away lots of money, even building whole neighborhoods in Medellin and trucking in tons of Christmas presents.
Did Escobar, who felt no qualms about mass murdering civilians, do these things out of goodwill? It doesn't seem likely. Should a man of God, whose behavior is supposed to be pure, have associated with a mass murderer? To me, it just doesn't seem right.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours