With Gaviria still chasing Escobar, despite his spoken intentions to also negotiate with him, Pablo and Gustavo are on the run. At the beginning of “La Gran Mentira,” they’re half-naked and running through the mountains, all in the middle of the night as gunfire echoes behind them. There’s been another raid, but of course, Escobar once again gets away. For a moment the Search Bloc thinks they have him, as the CIA tracks his satellite phone, but they come to find it attached to a donkey.
After escaping the Search Bloc once again, Escobar returns to where he has the hostages hidden away, including Ms. Turbay. He has another chat with her, insisting that she once again make a video. He now realizes that Gaviria is negotiating with him and trying to catch him at the same time, and he’s had enough. He agrees to let two hostages go in exchange for Ms. Turbay making another video asking the government to transparently negotiate with Escobar.
The plea is heard and seen, with former president Turbay once again insisting that Gaviria meet the demands. “Do you know what his demands are?” he asks Turbay before he lists them in all their ridiculousness. Escobar wants a referendum on extradition, plus he’ll agree to admit to a single charge of drug trafficking, but only if he’s allowed to build his own prison, hire his own guards, and demand that the Colombian police stay three kilometers away from the jail.
Such demands are ludicrous, and only serve to further benefit Escobar, who would get to hide away in his own “castle,” as he termed it in “You Will Cry Tears of Blood.” He may have Turbay for leverage, but that doesn’t matter to Gaviria. The demands are too high, and he can’t be seen as cooperating with such a violent criminal.
Shortly thereafter though, Gaviria has his decision made for him. When the Search Bloc executes a raid on the residence where the hostages are being held, they manage to kill a few of Escobar’s men, but Ms. Turbay, who’s hiding in a closet, is killed by a stray bullet. Escobar’s leverage piece may be dead, but more importantly, Ms. Turbay’s death strikes a chord in Colombia. The citizens want an end to the senseless violence, essentially forcing Gaviria’s hand.
Sandoval suggests bringing in the U.S. military to help capture Escobar, but Gaviria refuses. He needs to end the violence now, so he tells his head of security to give Escobar what he wants. Fernando, the go-between for Escobar and Gaviria, brings the good news (for the cartel) to Escobar. He’s ecstatic, but he wants more from Fernando. Now that the terms have been agreed upon, he wants him to work on lessening the drug trafficking sentence. Escobar is nothing if not an opportunist.
Now that all of Escobar’s plans are falling into place, he needs to build the jail as soon as possible. The sooner he builds it, the sooner he’s safe inside. That’s important during this time, as there are many within his ranks that want to see him taken out. From inside his own personal jail, he can be free from harm and also continue to run his operation.
NEXT: We are bandits, not snitches