By David Salazar ( | First Posted: Jul 09, 2012 03:22 PM EDT

Drug Lord Pablo Escobar lies dead at the morgue December 2. Escobar was killed in a gun battle with an elite police and army unit. (Photo : REUTERS/Stringer .)

"Pablo Escobar: Boss of Evil" makes its television debut tonight at 10 p.m. on Telemundo.

The Colombian series features Andres Parra as the infamous drug lord who has been linked to over 5,000 deaths and has been a symbol of the subsequent drug wars raging in Latin America.

The telenovela tells the story of the criminal dating from his childhood through his rise to power as a cocaine trafficker all through the 1970s and 80s. The series was shot in over 450 locations throughout Medellin, Bogota, and Miami. The series is said to have a cinematic feel and many scenes were shot mainly with one camera, a technique utilized mainly in feature films, but not common in the world of soap operas.

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. 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. The first half of the opening episode can be viewed here.

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.

Notable Colombian actress Angie Cepeda (Love in the Time of Cholera) plays Escobar's mistress and the rest of the cast includes the likes of Cecilia Navia, Linda Lucia Callejas, Vicky Hernández, Ernesto Benjumea, Nicolás Montero, and Christian Tappan.

To watch episodes, click below:

Episode 1

Episode 2

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