Penélope Cruz Sánchez is a Spanish actress and model. Signed by an agent at the age of 15, she made her acting debut at 16 on television, her feature film debut the following year in Jamón Jamón, her subsequent roles in the 1990s and 2000s included Belle Epoque, Open Your Eyes, The Hi-Lo Country, The Girl of Your Dreams and Woman on Top. Cruz achieved recognition for her lead roles in the 2001 films Vanilla Sky, All the Pretty Horses, Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Blow, she has since appeared in films in a range of genres, including the comedy Waking Up in Reno, the thriller Gothika, the Christmas film Noel, the action-adventure films Sahara and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the romantic comedy To Rome with Love, the crime drama The Counselor and the mystery film Murder on the Orient Express. She was praised for her roles in Volver and Nine, receiving Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for each, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2008 for playing volatile painter María Elena in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
She is the first Spanish actress to win an Academy Award, as well as the first Spanish actress to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2018, Cruz made her American television debut as Italian fashion designer Donatella Versace in the FX series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, for which she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. Cruz has modelled for Mango, Ralph Lauren, Chanel and L'Oréal, along with her younger sister Mónica Cruz, has designed clothing for Mango. Cruz has volunteered in India, where she spent one week working with Mother Teresa. Cruz was born in the working-class town of Alcobendas, Spain, to Encarna Sánchez, a hairdresser and personal manager, Eduardo Cruz, a retailer and car mechanic, she has two siblings, Mónica an actress, Eduardo, a singer. She has a paternal half-sister, Salma, she was raised as a Roman Catholic. Cruz grew up in Alcobendas, spent long hours at her grandmother's apartment.
She says. Cruz remembers "playing with some friends and being aware that I was acting as I was playing with them. I would think of a character and pretend to be someone else."Initially, Cruz focused on dance, having studied classical ballet for nine years at Spain's National Conservatory. She took four years of theatre at Cristina Rota's school, she says that ballet instilled in her discipline that would be important in her future acting career. When she became a cinephile at 10 or 11, her father bought a Betamax machine, a rare thing to own in her neighborhood; as a teenager, Cruz became interested in acting after seeing the film Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. She did casting calls for an agent but was rejected multiple times because the agent felt that she was too young. Cruz commented on the experience, "I was extroverted as a kid.... I was studying when I was in high school at night, I was in ballet and I was doing castings. I looked for an agent and she sent me away three times because I was a little girl but I kept coming back.
I'm still with her after all these years." In 1989, at the age of 15, Cruz won an audition at a talent agency over more than 300 other girls. In 1999, Katrina Bayonas, Cruz's agent, commented, "She was magic, it was obvious there was something impressive about this kid.... She was green, but there was a presence. There was just something coming from within."Her father, died at his home in Spain in 2015, aged 62, from a heart attack. In 1989, 15-year-old Cruz made her acting debut in a music video for the Spanish pop group Mecano's song "La Fuerza del Destino". Between 1990 and 1991, she hosted the Spanish TV channel Telecinco's talk show La Quinta Marcha, a programme, hosted by teenagers, aimed at a teenage audience, she played in the "Elle et lui" episode of an erotic French TV series called Série rose in 1991, where she appeared nude. In 1991, Cruz made her feature film debut as the lead female role in the comedy drama art house film, Jamón, jamón. In the film, she portrayed Silvia, a young woman, expecting her first child with a man whose mother does not approve of the relationship and attempts to sabotage it by paying Javier Bardem's character to seduce her.
People magazine noted that after Cruz appeared topless in the film, she became "a major sex symbol". In an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News in 1999, Cruz commented that "it was a great part, but... I wasn't ready for the nudity, but I have no regrets because I wanted to start working and it changed my life." Charlie Rose of 60 Minutes noted that Cruz "became an overnight sensation as much for her nude scenes as for her talent". When Rose asked Cruz if she was concerned about how she would be perceived after her role in the film, Cruz replied, "I just knew I had to do the complete opposite."Jamón, jamón received favorable reviews, with Chris Hicks of the Deseret News describing Cruz's portrayal of Silvia as "enchanting". Writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, film critic Roger Ebert wrote "it stars actors of considerable physical appeal, most Penélope Cruz as Silvia". For her performance, Cruz was nominated for a Spanish Actors Union Newcomer Award and a Goya Award for Best Actress; the same year she appeared in the Academy-Award-winning Belle Epoque as the virginal Luz.
People magazine noted that Cruz's role
Virginia Vallejo García is a Colombian author, television director, media personality and political asylee in the United States of America. On 18 July 2006, the DEA took her out of Colombia in a special flight to save her life and cooperate with the Department of Justice in high-profile cases, after she had publicly accused several Colombian presidents and politicians of being beneficiaries and accomplices of the leading cocaine cartels. In 2019, she began working for RT Spanish. Virginia Vallejo was born on 26 August 1949 in Cartago, Valle del Cauca, near her family’s ranch, her parents were Juan Vallejo Jaramillo, an entrepreneur, Mary García Rivera. Her grandfather, Eduardo Vallejo Varela, had been minister of economy. In 1950, the young family returned to Bogotá, where her siblings, Felipe and Sofía were born, she studied first in the kindergarten of Elvira Lleras Restrepo, sister of President Carlos Lleras Restrepo, a friend of her family. In the Anglo Colombian School, co-founded by her great uncle Jaime Jaramillo Arango, former minister of education and ambassador to London, the United Nations and Unesco.
In 1967 and 1968, she worked as an English teacher in the Centro Colombo Americano in Bogotá and, in 1969, in the presidency of Banco del Comercio. The same year, she married Fernando Borrero Caicedo, CEO of Borrero and Giovanelli, but they were divorced in 1971. In 1972, while she was working as director of public relations of Cervecería Andina, she received an invitation to join an upcoming television program directed by Carlos Lemos Simmonds and Aníbal Fernández de Soto. In 1978, she married David Stivel, the Argentinian television and film director, head of the Clan Stivel; the marriage ended in 1981. Until 1998, there were only three television channels in Colombia that belonged to the Government: two commercial and one official. Inravisión, the official broadcasting entity, leased spaces to independent television producers known as programadoras, many owned by prominent journalists or presidential families; that is the reason why Virginia Vallejo could work as a news anchor and presenter of other programs.
From 1972 to 1975, she was as the presenter of “¡Oiga Colombia, Revista del Sábado!”, a program directed by Carlos Lemos Simmonds and Fernández de Soto. From 1973 to 1975, she was the host of the television musical shows “Éxitos 73”, “Éxitos 74” and “Éxitos 75”, produced by THOY, the programadora of the family of President Julio César Turbay. In 1973, she began working as a reporter on TV Sucesos-A3, the newscast directed by Alberto Acosta. In the early and mid seventies, she hosted other television programs, like the quiz show TV Crucigrama, a cooking show with chef Segundo Cabezas, a program for children. In January 1978, she became the anchorwoman of Noticiero 24 Horas, which aired at 7:00 PM, was directed by Mauricio Gómez and Sergio Arboleda. In March, the Government of Taiwan invited her to the inauguration of President Chiang Ching-kuo; the same year, she was elected as the vice-president of the board of directors of the ACL, Asociación Colombiana de Locutores. In 1978, 1979 and 1980, she won the award as the Best Television Anchor of the APE, Asociación de Periodistas del Espectáculo.
In 1979, she co-starred in the movie Colombia Connection by Gustavo Nieto Roa. In November, she appeared in Country, opening the section The Beautiful Women of El Dorado. In 1979 and 1980, she presented ¡Cuidado con las Mujeres!, a program by RTI Producciones, directed by David Stivel. In 1981, she founded TV Impacto, with the journalist Margot Ricci; that same year, the Government of Israel invited them to do a special program about The Holy Land. In 1980 and 1982, she worked at Caracol Radio, she was the only journalist sent by a Colombian media outlet to London to cover the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer, on 29 July 1981. Vallejo’s broadcast for Caracol lasted three hours, she covered the Miss Colombia pageant for the same station until 1985. Between 1981 and 1983, she directed her program ¡Al Ataque! She was the first television journalist to interview Pablo Escobar in January 1983; the interview was filmed at the garbage dump of Medellín. During the interview Pablo Escobar described the charity project Medellín Sin Tugurios launched by Escobar and his partners.
The interview propelled Escobar on to the national stage. In 1983 and 1984, she presented Magazín del Lunes at 7 pm. In 1984, she made a television commercial for Medias Di Lido, in Venice, followed by another three in Rio de Janeiro, San Juan and Cartagena. In 1983 and 1984, she presented the musical El Show de las Estrellas, directed by Jorge Barón. In 1984, she became the international editor of the Grupo Radial Colombiano, directed by Carlos Lemos Simmonds. In 1985, she became the anchorwoman of the newscast Telediario, directed by Arturo Abella. In 1985, she appeared on the covers of Cosmopolitan. In Elenco, a magazine of El Tiempo that presented her as “the symbol of an era”. In 1988, she won a scholarship from the German Government, she studied economic journalism in Berlin at the Internationales Institut für Journalismus. In 1991, she returned to Colombia to co-star in the soap opera Sombra de tu Sombra of Caracol Televisión. In 1992, she presented ¡I
Fandango is an American ticketing company that sells movie tickets via their website as well as through their mobile app. Industry revenue increased for several years after the company's formation. However, as the Internet grew in popularity and medium-sized movie-theater chains began to offer independent ticket sale capabilities through their own websites. In addition, a new paradigm of moviegoers printing their own tickets at home emerged, in services offered by PrintTixUSA and by point-of-sale software vendor operated websites like "ticketmakers.com". An overall slump in moviegoing continued into the 2000s, as home theaters, DVDs, high definition televisions proliferated in average households, turning their homes into a preferred place to screen films. On April 11, 2007, Comcast acquired Fandango, with plans to integrate it into a new entertainment website called "Fancast.com," set to launch the summer of 2007. In June 2008, the domain Movies.com was acquired from Disney. With Comcast's purchase of a majority stake in NBCUniversal in January 2011, Fandango and all other Comcast media assets were merged into the company.
In March 2012, Fandango announced a partnership with Yahoo! Movies, becoming the official online and mobile ticketer serving over 30 million registered users of the Yahoo! service. On January 29, 2016, Fandango announced its acquisition of M-GO, a joint venture between Technicolor SA and DreamWorks Animation which it would rebrand as "FandangoNOW". In February of that same year Fandango announced its acquisition of Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes from Time Warner's Warner Bros. Entertainment; as part of the deal, Warner Bros. would become a 30% shareholder of the combined Fandango company. In December 2016, Fandango Media purchased Cinepapaya, a Peru-based website for purchasing movie tickets, for an undisclosed amount. Fandango charges a premium to use its services, ranging from 75¢ to $2.50, which reserves a ticket to be printed out upon arrival at a movie theater, thereby avoiding lines. Seating was promised for sold-out shows, but this feature was discontinued for most theaters, as not all were equipped to handle reserved seating and will call lines.
With ticket prices in many areas exceeding US$10.00, purchasing tickets through Fandango and other ticketing websites can make movie-going an expensive proposition. Fandango's advertisements play before previews at participating movie-theater chains and feature lunch bag puppets telling various one or two-line jokes and riddles centering on the company's name; the company produced an advertising segment, based on the song, "We are the World". Fandango's website offers exclusive film clips, celebrity interviews, reviews by users, movie descriptions, some web-based games to their members; as of March 5, 2015, Fandango provides customers with memberships the ability to refund or exchange their orders 2 hours before the showtime of their film. Fandango's Android app was listed among Techlands 50 Best Android Applications for 2013. Fandango is one of three major online advance movie ticket sale sites, along with MovieTickets.com and AtomTickets.com. Before being acquired by Comcast in April 2007, Fandango was owned, with the major stakeholder being the second largest movie-theater chain in the U.
S. Regal Entertainment Group, including the United Artists and Hoyts theater chains. Along with other partners, Regal founded Fandango to prevent the older MovieTickets.com from establishing a monopoly on phone and online ticketing services. It's advertising agency decided on its name because it sounded "fun and smart," "easily pronounce and remember--even though it has nothing to do with movies."Mergers of movie chains have complicated matters regarding which company provides online ticketing for a particular chain. Upon Regal's acquisition of Consolidated Theatres, that chain was under contract to MovieTickets.com. On the other hand, Regal's acquisition of the Hoyts chain resulted in Fandango taking over their online ticketing. Prior to 2012, Fandango did not provide online ticketing for many AMC Theatres. However, it provided online ticketing for those AMC Theatres part of the Loews Cineplex Entertainment chain, due to contractual obligations in place prior to the 2005 merger of the two movie chains.
Loews had attempted to break the contract in 2002 under pressure of bankruptcy and from AOL Moviefone and its partner, Loews' Cineplex subsidiary. As of February 8, 2012, Fandango began providing ticketing for all AMC Theatres in the US, after which MovieTickets.com's fellow shareholders sued AMC for breach of contract. AMC and MovieTickets.com settled in 2013, with an agreement that the theater chain's online ticketing would be available on both Fandango and MovieTickets.com. In May 2012, Fandango announced a partnership with former partner of MovieTickets.com. Atom Tickets, a movie ticketing app and website, launched in 2014, has been called a "serious competitor" for Fandango. In July 2009, it was revealed that Fandango along with other websites, including buy.com and Orbitz, were linked with controversial Web loyalty
John Peter Sarsgaard is an American actor. His first feature role was in Dead Man Walking in 1995, he appeared in the 1998 independent films Another Day in Paradise and Desert Blue. That same year, Sarsgaard received a substantial role in The Man in the Iron Mask, playing Raoul, the ill-fated son of Athos. Sarsgaard achieved critical recognition when he was cast in Boys Don't Cry as John Lotter, he landed his first leading role in the 2001 film The Center of the World. The following year, he played supporting roles in Empire, The Salton Sea, K-19: The Widowmaker. For his portrayal of Charles Lane in Shattered Glass, Sarsgaard won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor and was nominated for the 2004 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Sarsgaard has appeared in an eclectic range of films, including the 2004 comedy-drama Garden State, the biographical film Kinsey, the drama The Dying Gaul, big-budget films such as Flightplan, The Skeleton Key, Orphan, An Education and Day, the superhero film Green Lantern, Kelly Reichardt's Night Moves, Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, Black Mass, The Magnificent Seven.
Sarsgaard appeared in the U. S. TV series The Killing as a man on death row wrongfully convicted for the brutal murder of his wife—a performance which he says included "some of the best acting I have done in my life."Sarsgaard has appeared in Off-Broadway productions including Kingdom of Earth, Laura Dennis, Burn This, Uncle Vanya. In September 2008, he made his Broadway debut as Boris Alexeyevich Trigorin in The Seagull, he is married to actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. Sarsgaard was born at Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, the son of Judy Lea and John Dale Sarsgaard, his father was an Air Force engineer and worked for Monsanto and IBM. His surname originates in Denmark. Sarsgaard was served as an altar boy, his family moved more than 12 times following his father's job. At the age of 7, Sarsgaard wanted to become a soccer player and took up ballet to help improve his coordination. After suffering several concussions while playing soccer, he gave up the sport and became interested in writing and theater.
Sarsgaard attended Fairfield College Preparatory School, a private Jesuit boys' school in Connecticut, where he became interested in film. Following his graduation from Fairfield Prep in 1989, he attended Bard College in New York for two years before transferring to Washington University in St. Louis in 1991, where he co-founded an improvisational comedy troupe "Mama's Pot Roast." While at WUSTL, Sarsgaard began performing in plays in an offshoot of New York's Actors Studio. In 1993, he moved to New York. Sarsgaard branched out with guest roles in television productions filmed in New York City, with Law & Order in 1995, New York Undercover as well as an appearance in the 1997 HBO special Subway Stories, he appeared in his first film role in Dead Man Walking, where he was cast as a murdered teenager, killed by Sean Penn's character. His next film roles were in a series of independent features: Another Day in Paradise, part of an ensemble cast that included James Woods, Melanie Griffith, Vincent Kartheiser, Natasha Gregson Wagner, In Desert Blue, where he had a supporting role in the film.
He received his substantial role in the 1998 film The Man in the Iron Mask, where he played Raoul, the ill-fated son of John Malkovich's dueling Musketeer, Athos. The film uses characters from Alexandre Dumas' d'Artagnan Romances, is loosely adapted from some plot elements of The Vicomte de Bragelonne; the film received ambivalent reviews, but was a success at the box office, earning $182 million worldwide. In 1999, Sarsgaard earned critical recognition in Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry, where he was cast as notorious killer John Lotter; the film is based on the real-life story of Brandon Teena, raped and murdered in 1993 by Lotter and Tom Nissen after they found out that he was a trans man. Boys Don’t Cry received overwhelmingly positive acclaim from critics, his performance was critically well received. According to The Boston Globe, "Peter Sarsgaard... makes the killer's terrible trajectory not only believable, but grounded in the most mundane clodhopper behavior. He isn't a drooling monster, he's a guy you wouldn't look twice at a bar or a convenience store."
A contributor from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote "It's a marvelous performance supported ably by... Sarsgaard as the unpredictable, sociopathic Lotter." The film was screened at a special presentation at the 2000 Venice Film Festival. In regards to his character, as how Sarsgaard made him "likeable, sympathetic even" was because he wanted the audience "to understand why they would hang out with me. If my character wasn't likable, I wanted him to be charismatic enough that you weren't going to have a dull time if you were with him." In another interview, Sarsgaard said. His first leading role was in the 2001 feature The Center of the World, where he plays Richard Longman, a lonely young entrepreneur who skips out on his company's big initial public offering and pays a stripper $10,000 to fly to Las Vegas with him; the film received average reviews, however, A. O. Scott of the New York Times, reported that the performances by both Sarsgaard and Parker "provide a rough grain of authenticity, captur
Javier Ángel Encinas Bardem is a Spanish actor. Bardem won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the psychopathic assassin Anton Chigurh in the 2007 Coen Brothers film No Country for Old Men, he has received critical acclaim for roles in films such as Jamón, jamón, Carne trémula, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Boca a boca, Los lunes al sol, Mar adentro, Skyfall, for which he received both a BAFTA and a SAG nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Bardem has won a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA, five Goya Awards, two European Film Awards, a Prize for Best Actor at Cannes and two Volpi Cups at Venice for his work, he is the first Spanish actor to be nominated for an Oscar, as well as the first Spaniard to win one, for Best Supporting Actor in No Country for Old Men, 2008. He received his third Academy Award nomination, second Best Actor nomination, for the film Biutiful. Bardem was born in the Canary Islands, Spain, his mother, Pilar Bardem, is an actress, his father, José Carlos Encinas Doussinague, was a businessman involved in environmental work.
The two separated shortly after his birth and his mother raised him alone. Bardem comes from a long line of filmmakers and actors dating back to the earliest days of Spanish cinema. Both his older brother and sister, Carlos and Mónica, are actors, he comes from a political background, as his uncle Juan Antonio was imprisoned by Franco for his anti-fascist films. Bardem was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith by his grandmother; as a child, he spent time on film sets. At age six, he made his first film appearance, in Fernando Fernán Gómez's El Pícaro, he played rugby for the junior Spanish National Team. Though he grew up in a family full of actors, Bardem did not see himself going into the family business. Painting was his first love, he went on to study painting for four years at Madrid's Escuela de Artes y Oficios. In need of money he took acting jobs to support his painting, but he says he was a bad painter and abandoned that career pursuit. In 1989, for the Spanish comedy show El Día Por Delante, he had to wear a Superman costume for a comedic sketch, a job that made him question whether he wanted to be an actor at all.
Bardem has confessed to having worked as a stripper during his struggling acting career. Bardem came to notice in a small role in his first major motion picture, The Ages of Lulu, when he was 20, in which he appeared along with his mother, Pilar Bardem. Bigas Luna, the director of Lulu, was sufficiently impressed to give him the leading male role in his next film, Jamón Jamón in 1992, in which Bardem played a would-be underwear model and bullfighter; the film, which starred a teenaged Penélope Cruz, was a major international success. He starred again in Luna's next film Golden Balls. Bardem's talent did not go unnoticed in the English-speaking world. In 1997, John Malkovich was the first to approach him a 27-year-old, for a role in English, but the Spanish actor turned down the offer because his English was still poor, his first English-speaking role came that same year, in with director Álex de la Iglesia's Perdita Durango, playing a santería-practicing bank robber. After starring in about two dozen films in his native country, he gained international recognition in Julian Schnabel's Before Night Falls in 2000, portraying Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas.
He received praise from his idol Al Pacino. For that role, he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor, the first for a Spaniard. After, he turned down the role of Danny Witwer in Minority Report which went to Colin Farrell. Instead, in 2002, Bardem starred in The Dancer Upstairs. Malkovich had Bardem in mind for the role of the detective's assistant, but the movie's taking so long to obtain financing gave Bardem time to learn English and take on the lead role of the detective. "I will always be grateful to him because he gave me my first chance to work in English", has said Bardem of Malkovich. Bardem won Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival for his role in Mar Adentro, released in the United States as The Sea Inside, in which he portrayed the quadriplegic turned assisted suicide activist Ramón Sampedro, he made his Hollywood debut in a brief appearance as a crime lord who summons Tom Cruise's hitman to do the dirty work of dispatching witnesses in the crime drama Collateral.
He stars in Miloš Forman's 2006 film Goya's Ghosts opposite Natalie Portman, where he plays a twisted monk during the Spanish Inquisition. In 2007, Bardem acted in two film adaptations: the Coen Brothers' No Country for Old Men, the adaptation of the Colombian novel Love in the Time of Cholera with Giovanna Mezzogiorno by Gabriel García Márquez. In No Country for Old Men, he played Anton Chigurh. For that role, he became the first Spaniard to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, he won a Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor, the 2008 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Best Supporting Actor. Bardem's rendition of Chigurh's trademark word, "What business is it of yours where I'm from, friendo?" (in respo
Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was a Colombian drug lord and narcoterrorist. His cartel supplied an estimated 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States at the height of his career, turning over US$21.9 billion a year in personal income. He was called "The King of Cocaine" and was the wealthiest criminal in history, with an estimated known net worth of between US$25 and US$30 billion by the early 1990s, making him one of the richest men in the world in his prime. Escobar was born in Rionegro and grew up in nearby Medellín, studying at Universidad Autónoma Latinoamericana of Medellin but left without a degree, he began to engage in criminal activity involving the sale of contraband cigarettes and fake lottery tickets, participated in motor vehicle theft. In the 1970s, he began to work for various contraband smugglers kidnapping and holding people for ransom before beginning to distribute powder cocaine himself, as well as establishing the first smuggling routes into the United States in 1975.
His infiltration to the drug market of the U. S. expanded exponentially due to the rising demand for cocaine. S. monthly. His drug network was known as the Medellín Cartel, which competed with rival cartels domestically and abroad, resulting in massacres and the murders of police officers, judges and prominent politicians. In 1982 parliamentary election, Escobar was elected as an alternate member of the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia as part of the Liberal Alternative movement. Through this, he was responsible for the construction of houses and football fields in western Colombia, which gained him popularity among the locals of the towns that he frequented. However, Colombia became the "murder capital of the world", Escobar was vilified by the Colombian and American governments. In 1993, Escobar was shot and killed in his hometown by Colombian National Police, one day after his 44th birthday. Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was born on 1 December 1949, in Rionegro, in the Antioquia Department of Colombia.
He was the third of seven children of the farmer Abel de Jesús Dari Escobar Echeverri, with his wife Hemilda de los Dolores Gaviria Berrío, an elementary school teacher. Raised in the nearby city of Medellín, Escobar is thought to have begun his criminal career as a teenager stealing gravestones and sanding them down for resale to local smugglers, his brother, Roberto Escobar, denies this, instead claiming that the gravestones came from cemetery owners whose clients had stopped paying for site care, that he had a relative who had a monuments business. Escobar's son, Sebastián Marroquín, claims his father's foray into crime began with a successful practice of selling counterfeit high school diplomas counterfeiting those awarded by the Universidad Autónoma Latinoamericana of Medellín. Escobar left without obtaining a degree. Escobar became involved in many criminal activities with Oscar Benel Aguirre, with the duo running petty street scams, selling contraband cigarettes, fake lottery tickets, stealing cars.
In the early 1970s, prior to entering the drug trade, Escobar acted as a thief and bodyguard earning US$100,000 by kidnapping and holding a Medellín executive for ransom. Escobar began working for Alvaro Prieto, a contraband smuggler who operated around Medellín, aiming to fulfill a childhood ambition to have COL $1 million by the time he was 22. Escobar is known to have had a bank deposit of COL $100 million, when he turned 26. In The Accountant's Story, Roberto Escobar discusses the means by which Pablo rose from middle-class simplicity and obscurity to one of the world's wealthiest men. Beginning in 1975, Pablo started developing his cocaine operation, flying out planes several times between Colombia and Panama, along smuggling routes into the United States; when he bought fifteen bigger airplanes, including a Learjet and six helicopters, according to his son, a dear friend of Pablo's died during the landing of an airplane, the plane was destroyed. Pablo reconstructed the airplane from the scrap parts that were left and hung it above the gate to his ranch at Hacienda Nápoles.
In May 1976, Escobar and several of his men were arrested and found in possession of 39 pounds of white paste, attempting to return to Medellín with a heavy load from Ecuador. Pablo tried to bribe the Medellín judges who were forming a case against him, was unsuccessful. After many months of legal wrangling, he ordered the murder of the two arresting officers, the case was dropped. Roberto Escobar details this as the point where Pablo began his pattern of dealing with the authorities, by either bribery or murder. Roberto Escobar maintains Pablo fell into the drug business because other types of contraband became too dangerous to traffic; as there were no drug cartels and only a few drug barons, Pablo saw it as untapped territory he wished to make his own. In Peru, Pablo would buy the cocaine paste, which would be refined in a laboratory in a two-story house in Medellín. On his first trip, Pablo bought a paltry 30 pounds of paste in what was noted as the first step towards building his empire.
At first, he smuggled the cocaine in old plane tires, a pilot could return as much as US$500,000 per flight, dependent on the quantity smuggled. Soon, the demand for cocaine was increasing in the United States, Escobar organized more smuggling shipments, and
Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar
Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar is the translation of the title "Amando a Pablo, odiando a Escobar", a memoir of the Colombian author and journalist Virginia Vallejo. It was written in Spanish and was published by Random House Mondadori on 22 September 2007, Random House Inc. of New York on 4 October 2007. The book describes the five years-long romantic relationship of the author with Pablo Escobar, head of the Medellin cartel, it became the #1 bestseller in Colombia, Latin America, the Hispanic market in the United States, it has been translated to sixteen languages, inspired the movie Loving Pablo. Vallejo's memoir is her personal intimate biography of Pablo Escobar; the book is divided in three parts: The Days of Innocence and Dreams. In the Introduction, Virginia Vallejo describes her departure from Colombia on 18 July 2006 in a special flight of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, after she has accused a former senator and minister of justice, Alberto Santofimio, of instigating the assassination of a former presidential candidate, Luis Carlos Galan, after she had offered her cooperation to the Department of Justice in ongoing high-profile criminal cases.
The story begins with the joy and passion of two new lovers -Pablo, an ambitious rookie politician from humble origins, Virginia, a socialite and media personality, both 32 years old- and continues with the evolution of their relationship and Escobar's personality during his war against the extradition treaty between Colombia and the United States, the terrorist activities of him and the Medellin cartel in their last years. Like a snowball, Vallejo describes the birth and boom of the cocaine industry that turned her lover into a billionaire, thanks to the cooperation of leading politicians; the release of the book created a political scandal in Latin America and the Hispanic television channels in the US, due to Vallejo's description of the relationship of Pablo Escobar and the Medellin and Cali cartels with several presidents - like Alvaro Uribe, Alfonso López and Ernesto Samper - and Colombian enforcement agencies. Thanks to Vallejo's revelations, the Colombian government reopened the so-called "cases of the century": the siege of the Palace of Justice, followed by a massacre of more than 100 people, including eleven Supreme Court Justices, committed by the army.
Vallejo's book was commented by The New York Times and El País of Madrid, among hundreds of media worldwide. By Colombian and Ecuadorian presidents, a former American ambassador to Bogota, human rights organizations, the rebel FARC. In 2008 and 2009, president Rafael Correa of Ecuador showed "Amando a Pablo, odiando a Escobar" on television. On 3 June 2010, the United States of America granted political asylum to the Colombian author under the precepts of the American Constitution, the Geneva Convention Against Torture, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the decision of the judge was based on Virginia Vallejo's career of decades as a journalist. According to the author's agent, Liepman AG of Zürich, the book "Amando a Pablo, odiando a Escobar" will be released in foreign languages during 2017; the countries and publishers are, in alphabetical order: Brazil, Globo livros. Czech Republic, Euromedia Group. Denmark, Rosinante. Egypt, Al Arabi Publishing. Finland, Like Publishing. France, J’ai lu.
Germany, Lübbe. Greece, Psichogios Publications. Hungary, Partvonal. Italy, Giunti Editore. Poland, Agora SA. Portugal, Penguin Random House Portugal. Romania, Grup Media Litera. Russia, Eksmo. Slovakia, Aktuell. Spain and Latin America, Peninsula. Turkey, Mona Kitap. United Kingdom, Canongate. United States and Vintage Español; the Greek, Brazilian and Finnish books were released in the first semester of 2017. Planeta released "Amando a Pablo, odiando a Escobar" in Spain on 25 October 2017; the Latin American releases have not been confirmed yet. Vintage-Knopf Doubleday launched both the Spanish and English titles in North America on 29 May 201