Vancouver's Colombian community plans protest outside Fraser Street restaurant called Escobar

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      An upscale new eatery in Fraserhood is generating more than its share of publicity in advance of its schedule May 11 opening.

      That's because members of the local Colombian community are upset over the name: Escobar. 

      Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria is perhaps the most notorious drug lord in world history, supplying the vast majority of cocaine to the United States in the 1980s and early 1990s through his Medellín Cartel.

      According to CBC News, some Colombian Canadians will be holding an opening-day protest outside the establishment at 4245 Fraser Street if it doesn't change its name.

      The Colombian consulate in Vancouver has also spoken out about the restaurant bearing the name Escobar.

      The owner told the Straight last week that he didn't intend to create disrespect or endorse drug trafficking, but he also has no intention of changing the name.

      Escobar's drug empire generated billions of dollars, some of which paid for sports facilities and housing for the poor in western parts of Colombia.

      But it also turned the country into the murder capital of the world, with more than 50,000 violent deaths taking place over a two-year period in 1991 and 1992.

      Escobar was killed in a shootout with police in 1993.

      It took many years and great sacrifices to transform the country into one of Latin America's most popular tourist destinations.

      Medellín is Colombia's second-largest city and has gained worldwide attention for its innovative approach to land use and urban transportation. It even has gondolas that serve poor who live in neighbourhoods high up in the hills.