A Pablo Escobar sticker book -- complete with baseball-card style pictures from the life of the infamous Colombian cartel boss --has been making the rounds in poor neighborhoods around Medellin, Escobar's hometown.
As reported by that country's El Tiempo newspaper, the magazine is sold in local grocery stores and shops, with kids lining up to buy packets of the stickers with which they can fill designated spaces in the booklet.
The sticker book, titled 'Pablo Escobar, The Evil Boss' (in Spanish, 'Pablo Escobar, el patron del mal'), is only 16 pages, appearing almost homemade with rudimentary design and construction elements. It apparently began circulating publicly less than a month ago following the success of the local telenovela of the same name.
Promoted with a surprising amount of savvy, the booklets and stickers -- which cost 2,000 pesos for the booklet ($1.15) and 300 pesos for the packets of sticker (about 15 cents) -- can lead to prizes such as MP3 players, soccer balls, and more.
The success of the whole endeavor has local authorities concerned, worried about the glorification of Escobar's extremely violent and corrupt ways. But that hasn't led to a clear approach of what to do about it. While Medellin's top security official first declared the sticker books would be seized and destroyed, within hours he reversed course and indicated they first had to determine if the material was illegal and if so, subject to seizure.
But this isn't the first time that Escobar's notoriety fuels commerce in Colombia. As it is in the U.S., where tourists can tour Al Capone's Chicago, in Medellin -- Escobar's home town, tourists can see places where Escobar lived, died, killed and was killed. Tourists can even "sit on the actual motorcycle Pablo rode for his first-ever drug run."