Virginia Vallejo Garcia is a Colombian author, journalist, and media personality, who is perhaps best known as the lover of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. She was the first journalist to interview Escobar when he was still known to the world as a philanthropic rookie politician.
Vallejo was born on August 26, 1949, to an entrepreneur father Juan Vallejo Jaramillo and mother Mary Garcia Rivera. She studied at Anglo-Colombian School and later taught English at a school before working for the presidency of Branco del Comercio.
She started working in television since 1972 as a reporter and anchorwoman. She won “Best Television News Anchor” in 1978 and 1979. After a decade long career in Colombian TV, she moved to Germany to study Economic Journalism in Berlin on a scholarship. After she returned to Colombia in 1991, she worked for a short time on TV before working in the marketing company, Neways.
In July 2006, she moved to the United States for safety after she testified against former Justice Minister Alberto Santofimio and Pablo Escobar for the conspiracy of the assassination of the presidential candidate, Luis Carlos Galán.
In 2007, she released a book, Amando a Pablo, odiando a Escobar (Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar). In the book, she detailed about her relationship with Escobar from 1982 to 1987, the origin of rebels in Colombia, the growth of the Cocaine Industry among others. She also testified in the case of the siege of Palace of Justice that took place on November 6 & 7, 1985. She was granted political asylum by the US in 2010.
Valeria Velez, the romantic interest of Escobar in the Netflix series, Narcos is believed to be based on Virginia, who was killed off in the second season. Virginia claimed many inaccuracies about the character. In August 2018, she filed a complaint against the showrunners in Miami federal court.
Her attorney, Robert Thornburg, said,
“You would think that if you really wanted to tell the true story and broadcast it as based upon true events, you would suggest that they consult with the people available. She was available, but they didn't. What they did was take her book and take a free pass. And they think they can keep the free pass.”
Her book was adapted into the 2017 movie, Loving Pablo, starring Javier Bardem as Escobar and Penelope Cruz as Virginia. The 69-year-old started working with Russia Today since 2019. She keeps her fans updated through her website, virginiavallejo.com.