By David Salazar (staff@latinospost.com) | First Posted: Jul 05, 2012 11:34 PM EDT

Officers show packets of cocaine (Photo : Creative Commons / ukhomeoffic)

The immensely popular "Pablo Escobar: Boss of Evil" telenovela will finally come to U.S. audiences on July 9.

On that evening, Spanish-language network Telemundo will air the serial program that garnered more than 11 million viewers in its opening episode, a record for Colombian television.

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The telenovela stars Andres Parra as the infamous drug lord who has drawn rave reviews for his portrayal and has found himself on the covers of newspapers and magazines throughout Colombia.

The show itself has been hailed as one of the "great television programs of the 21st Century" by El Tiempo critic Omar Rincon, who added that the show was more revealing about Colombia than the news.

The soap opera tells the story of the infamous drug lord who was involved in more than 5,000 deaths before he was gunned down on a Medellin rooftop. The telenovela has been airing since May 28 on Colombia's Caracol network.

The biopic was written and produced by victims of Escobar's violence. Juana Uribe, Caracol's vice president for programming, wrote and produced the series. Her mother, reporter Maruja Pachón, was kidnapped by Escobar and her uncle Luis Carlos Galán, was also murdered by the cartel.

Uribe's co-producer, Camilo Cano, was 20 years old when Escobar's henchmen killed his father, the director of El Espectador newspaper. His father wrote anti-Escobar articles which eventually drew the drug lord's attention. He had Cano killed just days before Christmas in 1986, when his car was strapped with an explosive.

The show is based on the book La Parabola de Pablo by Alonso Salazar and traces Escobar's rise from small-time thug and cigarette trafficker to becoming one of the richest and most powerful men in South America.

To watch episodes, click below:

 

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3 

Episode 4

Episode 5 

Episode 6

Episode 7 

Episode 8

Episode 9 

Episode 10

Episode 11 

Episode 12 

Episode 13 

Episode 14

Episode 15

Episode 16 

Episode 17

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