Mayor ticks off rap­per for vis­it­ing drug lord’s grave

New Straits Times - - World -

BO­GOTA: Amer­i­can rap­per Wiz Khal­ifa re­ceived a tongue-lash­ing from the mayor of Medellin, Colom­bia, on Mon­day for vis­it­ing the grave of the city’s most in­fa­mous son, the drug lord Pablo Es­co­bar.

The See You Again artiste left flow­ers and a joint at Es­co­bar’s tomb in Medellin on Fri­day, pub­lish­ing pho­tos of the homage on In­sta­gram — and draw­ing a firestorm of crit­i­cism in Colom­bia.

“In­stead of bring­ing flow­ers to Pablo Es­co­bar’s tomb, this guy should have brought flow­ers to the graves of all the vic­tims killed by drug traf­fick­ing, like any nor­mal per­son would have done,” Mayor Fed­erico Gu­tier­rez told Colom­bia’s Blu Ra­dio.

“Who goes to Ger­many, for ex­am­ple, and talks about the whole Hitler pe­riod? You’d go straight to jail.”

Khal­ifa had played at a con­cert in Medellin on Fri­day with Puerto Ri­can rap­per Tego Calderon.

Gu­tier­rez blamed con­cert or­gan­is­ers for fail­ing to stop the star from mak­ing what he called an af­front to the vic­tims of the drug vi­o­lence un­leashed by Es­co­bar ’s Medellin Car­tel in the 1980s and 1990s.

Es­co­bar ran a mas­sive co­caine­traf­fick­ing op­er­a­tion out of Medellin, Colom­bia’s se­cond city. Built on cor­rup­tion, mur­der and sheer ruth­less­ness, Es­co­bar’s em­pire made him the world’s sev­enth rich­est man, un­til he was killed in a rooftop shootout with po­lice in Medellin in 1993.

To­day, his grave at Medellin’s Itagui ceme­tery draws tourists from around the world.

Gu­tier­rez con­demned the fas­ci­na­tion with Es­co­bar, as well as the string of movies and TV shows about the late king­pin, such as the re­cent Net­flix se­ries, Nar­cos.

“The way we’re seen around the world to­day is due to all th­ese se­ries,” he said. AFP


Girl Scouts pos­ing with the ‘Fearless Girl’ statue in New York City on Mon­day. Mayor Bill de Bla­sio an­nounced that the pop­u­lar statue will stay un­til March next year.

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