BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) - The widow of Pablo Escobar fell madly in love as a preteen with the man who would rise to be a ruthless drug lord, but she says she felt raped when at age 14 he forced her to have a clandestine abortion, and over time came to view him as a cruel psychopath.
The revelation comes in a memoir, "My Life and My Prison With Pablo Escobar," in which Maria Henao for the first time opens up about her life alongside one of the world's most ruthless criminals, portraying herself more as a victim of the boundless violence of the Medellin cartel boss than as an accomplice to his lawbreaking.
In the book's epilogue, titled "The secret I've held for years," Henao describes being taken by Escobar to a ramshackle clinic and lying down on a stretcher while an elderly woman inserted several plastic tubes into her womb. She says she didn't know she was pregnant and was told it was just a means of pregnancy prevention. Over several days she endured bleeding and intense pain as a pregnancy was aborted. With time, and much therapy, she says she came to view the experience as a "violation."
She writes that she had been "paralyzed" with fear the first time Escobar was intimate with her. "I wasn't ready, I did not feel sexual malice, I did not have the necessary tools to understand what this intimate and intense contact meant," she says.
Talking of the abortion, something she had kept even from her children until now, she says, "I had to connect with my history and immerse myself in the depths of my soul, to find the courage to reveal the sad secret that I have harbored for 44 years."
Henao says she decided to break her long silence and write the 523-page book with the hope that younger generations of Colombians would see how much blood has spilled in Colombia as a result of its cocaine business.