Though revenge may sell Hollywood movies and books, nothing seems to fascinate and perplex people more than forgiveness. This story doesn’t fall neatly into the forgiveness category, but definitely fits snugly into that strange and perplexing world of restorative justice.
Sebastian Marroquin -- Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s grown son, using an adopted name -- has recently come out of obscurity in Buenos Aires where he has built a new life for himself. Gripped with shame for his father’s notorious lifetime of murder and corruption, Sebastian has begun to seek out some of the children of the men his father assassinated to express his remorse. A filmmaker has captured the meetings of Sebastian and two of these men, who now hold positions of power in Colombian government. Interestingly, in a face-to-face meeting, one of the men told Sebastian that he has no need to ask for forgiveness but is himself also a victim of his father’s infamous villainy.
The story brings to light the pain and shame many children of criminals and prisoners carry with them their whole lives. Sin never is unilateral in how it harms. It harms the children of wrongdoers as well as the children of victims. Like a stone tossed at a glass, it shatters shalom in a myriad of directions.
Hopefully, the film that Sebastian has risked his life and peace to make will have the desired effect, to begin to show others that the cycle of revenge can be broken, that there is another way forward that doesn’t include children picking up the vendettas of their parents, but instead extending hands of peace to former enemies.