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EL ESPECTADOR

Playing Pablo: Actor In Role Of Druglord Escobar Needs Therapy

Colombia marks 20 years since police killed Pablo Escobar, who helped define the nation as the global mecca of violence and drug trafficking. It's a lot to absorb for one man in particular.

Andres Parra in "Escobar, the Boss of Evil"
Andres Parra in "Escobar, the Boss of Evil"
Élber Gutiérrez Roa

BOGOTA — What's it like for a Colombian actor to play the country's famously cruel and bloodthirsty Public Enemy No. 1?

Andrés Parra, describes his television role as Pablo Escobar, once the world’s most notorious drug trafficker, as an “exhausting feast.” It was also one that required him to seek inner peace both during and after filming.

The 36-year-old recalls how as a child in the 1980s, teachers discouraged children from even mentioning the country’s premier mobster, whose criminal escapades and terrorist bombings made Colombia synonymous with violent crime and the cocaine trade.

Colombians have been marking the 20th anniversary this week of when police shot Escobar dead on Dec. 2, 1993.

Parra has acted out the criminal's ugly and eventful life in Caracol Television's weekday soap opera, "Escobar the Boss of Evil," for which the actor says he needed psychological counselling, to better understand Escobar’s “complexity.”

Psychologists confirmed that the drug baron was an “anti-social, aggressive, sadistic” character with a “total absence of disgust, fear and shame," he said. "Escobar was a man who slept easily ... not weighed down by any guilt or his conscience, convinced that what he did was all right.”

Despite the difficulties, Parra loved the role: “It was fascinating accessing a personality with so much color and contradictions.” Filming left him exhausted. "I hid all the books on Escobar, I took a bath with candles, I left the country for a while," Parra said.

Though the country would prefer people speak about such Colombians as Nobel prize-winning author Gabriel García Marquez, soccer star Radamel Falcao or cyclist Nairo Quintana, Parras says: “Whether we like it or not, Escobar was the world’s most famous Colombian.”

What was most interesting about Escobar? “Ninety-five percent” of his life, Parra says. “I had no idea about his relations with sports, with construction, with the law and politicians. I had no idea about the power he had, or that he was responsible for so many attacks. Escobar was in charge!”

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Society

What Jesus Really Said: Fixing The Mistranslations That Have Shaped Christianity

Jesus spoke Aramaic, but the Bible has been translated from Greek. Many mistaken translations of the Gospels have skewed the development of Christianity — and the course of history. It's time to let the Bible be retranslated to let its true message be known.

Biblical errors?

Franz Alt

BERLIN — Jesus spoke Aramaic. It was his mother tongue and 2,000 years ago it was the main language throughout the Middle East. The New Testament, however, is translated from Greek into all the languages of the world. Aramaic expert and theologian Günther Schwarz (who died in 2009) was dissatisfied with the classical translation and studied Aramaic every day for 50 years in order to better understand Jesus in his native language. In doing so, he came to the realization that about half of all Jesus' words in the gospels were mistranslated or even deliberately falsified.

His shocking conclusion: “What Christians believe, Jesus did not teach! And what Jesus taught — the Christians do not know.” The theologian has written 20 books and around 100 scientific articles about Jesus and Aramaic. He sent his findings to all German-speaking bishops. Response: zero.

So, as a journalist, I want to use my Jesus books to educate people about Günther Schwarz's findings.

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