- Showing 2 posts filed under: Forgiveness [–], Victim [–], Offender [–] published between Dec 01, 2009 and Dec 31, 2009 [Show all]
Escobar's son seeks atonement for father's sins
Pablo Escobar, who led Colombia's Medellin cocaine cartel, was once the world's most wanted man. At the height of his power in the 1980s, he killed politicians and policemen and ordered an airliner blown out of the sky. With U.S. help, the Colombian police finally hunted him down.
Sixteen years after Escobar's death, the families of his victims haven't forgotten about him. And neither has Escobar's only son [Sebastian Marroquin], whose story is told in a new documentary film that opens Dec. 10 in Colombia and then in January at the Sundance Film Festival.
The son, who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, says that he wants to atone for the sins of his father.
Restorative justice from a survivor's perspective
by Penny Beerntsen
Note: this article originally appeared as a comment responding to a posting by Lisa Rea. We were concerned that many readers may have missed it and so are posting it as its own entry. We are grateful to Penny Beerntsen for her willingness to share her extraordinary story.
As a survivor of a violent crime, I am a firm believer in the power of restorative justice programs to transform both the victim and the offender. I learned about victim offender conferencing shortly after surviving a violent sexual assault and attempted murder. Although I was unable to meet with my offender, as he had not taken responsibility for his crime, I began participating in victim impact panels inside prisons. Although I was not speaking directly to my offender, I was telling my story to others who were incarcerated for violent crimes, including rape. Much of my healing took place inside maximum security prisons as a result of the dialogue I engaged in with these offenders. If someone had told me at the time of the crime that this would be the case, I would have told that individual they were crazy! I participated in these panels because I thought I had something to offer the offenders. I learned that the process, if properly conducted, is mutually beneficial.