The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan is back for a second series.
The BBC show follows comedian Romesh on his journey to some of the world’s most misunderstood or misrepresented countries and gets to the bottom of what is really going on.
Season 2 has already seen Romesh travel to Zimbabwe, Mongolia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. And in episode 4 (Sunday, August 18th), Romesh took to one of South America’s most notorious countries: Colombia.
So what went down with Romesh in Colombia? Here’s everything you need to know about his travels in The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan in episode 4, from his tour guide Heisal Mora to hilarious art crimes!
Romesh jokes his way through dangerous Colombia
Romesh Ranganathan’s next stop on his world tour was Colombia, where he visited the country’s capital Bogota to learn more about its history and culture while debunking the violent reputation that lingers over the city.
Colombia was known as the cocaine capital of the world thanks to Pablo Escobar.
During the height of drug lord Escobar’s reign, there were up to 4000 murders a year and he encouraged gang warfare to rule. Since he died in 1993, crime levels have dropped by 82%.
Romesh and his tour guide, Heisel, travelled from Bogota to Medellin, which is known as the most dangerous city in the world. They stopedp at coffee plants and the natural wonders Colombia has to offer in between, from mountains to the Caribbean coast.
However, despite the dangers of gang violence and angry Colombians who become enraged by the site of a TV camera, Romesh continued to wise crack his way through the South American country.
Face to face with a notorious gang leader, the 41-year-old comedian opened their friendship with a ‘your mum’ joke. Tour guide Heisal Mora introduced Romesh to the man who had been shot several times by saying that so long a he didn’t mention the gang leader’s mother, everything would be fine.
Who is tour guide Heisel?
Heisel Mora was Romesh’s guide to Colombia.
A Bogota native, Natalia works as a radio DJ and actress. She has a slot called ‘Heisel Time’ on Los 40 radio station. You can follow her on Instagram @mcheisel where she posts about all her work.
Heisel was also in Narcos, which she talks about when on the show. She said that she signed up to the series because they showed the side of the victims, rather than glamorising the crimes of Pablo Escobar as many series and films have done.
Heisel is in Narcos season 1 episode 7 starring as Natalie’s friend. She makes a brief appearance so you’ll have to spot her quickly when Natalie seeks refuge at her house… and before she gets killed off after just one episode!
From real crime to “art crime”
Heisel took Romesh all the way to Medellin to see where the heart of the criminal activity is. They visited Escobar’s house, La Manuela, which now lays like a ghost town. La Manuela was bombed by an anti-Escobar group after his death in 1993.
Although he was “the greatest criminal of all time” as Romesh put it, we are introduced to Yolanda (one of Escobar’s housekeepers) who also spoke of the positives he brought to Colombia. This included helping the homeless and increasing employment.
Since Escobar’s criminal reign, one of the ways Colombia has dealt with debunking the notorious image of is through the street art boom.
In Bogota’s barrios, Romesh met street artists and turns his hand to graffiti. The idea was to fill all of the walls with colour to bring more positivity to the area.
Although the sentiment was a good one, Romesh’s contribution to the city’s street art was more of an “art crime” than anything else!
WATCH THE MISADVENTURES OF ROMESH RANGANATHAN SUNDAYS AT 9 PM ON BBC
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