It started almost as soon as they returned from Bogota. This information was passed to Panamanian authorities and led to the seizure of 5,100 kilograms (11,244lb). This is a big, crazy guy with big, crazy appetites. Its founders were the brothers Gilberto Rodrguez Orejuela and Miguel Rodrguez Orejuela, and Jos Santacruz Londoo. FARC demanded in exchange for the safe return of Christina a ransom of $10million. He kills people in cold blood, murders innocents, blows up an airliner, and generally does things so unambiguously evil that he makes Tony Soprano look like Santa Claus. Humiliated and enraged, Escobar symbolically removes his tie, storms out the building, and returns to his life of crime. Las Chemas were implicated in numerous kidnappings including those of two Swiss citizens: a diplomat, Herman Buff, and a student, Zack "Jazz Milis" Martin. [8], At the height of the Cali Cartel's reign, they were cited as having control over 90% of the world's cocaine market and for being directly responsible for the growth of the cocaine market in Europe. [55] Law enforcement had discovered the bomb and some of the people involved in the operation were arrested, and they told authorities about the plot to kill Escobar with the bombs. While Escobar remained dead and the fictional Murphy followed his real-life counterpart back to the U.S., Pedro Pascal's agent Javier Pena returned for Season 3 to take over as the lead character. [35][36] Vladimir Smirnov was the general director of Znamenskaya and Kumarin-Barsukov was his deputy. But not all of them. ", Times Narcos Lied To You About What Really Happened. [35][39] Robert Walner was the chief prosecutor in Liechtenstein's capital Vaduz.

Eww. Specifically, he had a center of US operations in New York where the DEA seized two cocaine conversion laboratories in June 1992. [12][37] Rudolf Ritter in Liechtenstein was the financial manager for both SPAG and the Ismailovskaya mafia. The assault only failed after the helicopter got lost in bad weather. Gee, who would want to kill such a fine, upstanding citizen? Out here in the real world, Murphy and Pena's retirements were nowhere near as blissfully dull as in the show. [4][5], The Cali Cartel was formed by the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers and Santacruz, all coming from what is described as a higher social background than most other traffickers of the time. [54][55], Salcedo flew over to El Salvador to oversee the plan to pick up the bombs and take them to an airfield where a civilian jet would land to pick them up and take them to Colombia. The soldiers that stormed the building disappeared and murdered 12 cafeteria workers they wrongly suspected of supporting the guerillas. In 1993 Medellin, the DEA and Search Bloc finally trace Escobar to a small apartment. Who knows? The real son of Miguel Rodriguez, William not only didn't die in a hail of bullets but according to theMiami Herald, is also mighty annoyed Narcos thinks he did. They were going to be inserted by use of two heavily armed Hughes500 helicopters and surprise-attack Escobar during the early morning. [54][55] Salcedo then settled into managing security for the Orejuela family, but then he was forced to witness an execution of four Panamanians, and tasked with organizing the murder of Guillermo Pallomari, their own cartel accountant. [3][4][7] The group originally assembled as a ring of kidnappers known as "Las Chemas", which was led by Luis Fernando Tamayo Garca. [12][37] In October 2015, Spanish Prosecutor Jose Grinda stated that any part of "the case could be recalled back to Spain. [3][21][24] As a consequence of the Cali Cartel's ownership of the chain, from January1988 to May4, 1990, it was targeted for 85bombings by Pablo Escobar and the Medelln Cartel, leaving a total of 27people dead. " " ", " " " ", Ministry of Stranger Affairs. For William Rodriguez Abadia, watching that scene must have been a surreal experience. ", " . The institution was later cited by United States officials as a money laundering operation, which allowed both the Cali Cartel and the Medelln Cartel to move and launder large amounts of funds. But, hey, at least Moura tried. It's also total fiction. In 1996, it was believed the Cartel was grossing $7 billion in annual revenue from the US alone. Shortly after, he began advising the cartel on certain issues before graduating to their head of security. Unsurprisingly given the series' genre, that relationship is a classic informer/informant one, with Don Berna slowly feeding Pena information that benefits both the DEA, and psychopathic paramilitary group Los Pepes. Escobar really had put a price on the heads of Murphy and his family. And serious is exactly what Narcos is until you go digging into actual Colombian history and find out just how much Narcos distorted, or exaggerated, or just plain made up. In real life, not only did no Colonel Carrillo ever exist, but no one in Search Bloc ever died in such an ambush (via Daily Beast). [49], Political violence was largely discounted by the Cali Cartel, as the threat of violence often sufficed. The municipality of Marsella in Risaralda was eventually bankrupted by the cost of recovering corpses and conducting autopsies. Elected in 1982, Escobar was allowed into the Liberal Party thanks to a corrupt senator named Alberto Santofimio. When he's not busy bedding smoking hot reporter Valeria Velez (a fictionalized version of Virginia Vallejo), he's surrounded by surgically enhanced prostitutes flown in direct from Brazil. Cali supplied the cocaine and the Camorra handled distribution across Europe. It is unknown what happened to the other hostages taken by the cartel. The truth is that almost nothing is known about Escobar's last days on the run. With the Cali cartel falling apart at the seams, mole Jorge Salcedo is forced to return to the city where everyone wants him dead. Even if you're an actual Spanish person from Spain, you may have only clocked that the accents sound a little iffy. [54] Salcedo barely escaped El Salvador and arrest before the botched pickup was exposed. He vanished off the grid, so any show that wanted to tell his story would be forced to make something up. That's not to say everything Pena does in Season 3 is fiction. Like the fictional David, William was involved in the family business.

[8] Accounting ledgers were seized in related arrests, which allowed the identification of another shipment being sent to Panama hidden in tiles. Narcos has a funny relationship with Colombia's insurgent groups. The morning after, the activities of the night before were all over the news. Only three bombs fit, stacked in the small passenger cabin.

Luis Guzman, who played Jos Gonzalo Rodrguez Gacha in season one, just stuck with his Puerto Rican accent.

[3] By the mid-1990s, the Cali Cartel's international drug trafficking empire was a $7 billion a year criminal enterprise. [36] Through his 200 shares or 20% control, Vladimir Smirnov was Putin's voting proxy in SPAG. There were 5 major Cali trafficking groups that were separate but also worked together when their interests aligned. While the show is right to say the real Agent Pena was out the country when Escobar was finally taken down, the real Murphy was miles away from the action. The reason is that Berna only had a relationship with Search Bloc itself and not the DEA. The laundering, which Gilberto states was "in accordance with Panamanian law", is what led to the US authorities' pursuing him. The operation involved Salcedo bringing together ruthless paramilitaries and mercenaries who'd previously fought for the white supremacist government in Rhodesia.

To be clear, this was just as dangerous as it was for the fictional Connie. When Colombia's government dismantled this faux state with bullets, the farmers fled for the jungle. Colombian officials raided and seized the Drogas la Rebaja pharmacy chain, replacing 50 of its 4,200workers on the grounds that they were "serving the interests of the Cali Cartel". Historica Wiki is a FANDOM Games Community. It was discovered, in a 1995 raid of Cali Cartel offices, that the cartel had been monitoring all phone calls made in and out of Bogot and Cali, including the U.S. Embassy in Bogot and the Ministry of Defense. The double agent was crucial in helping Miguel escape, as he hid Miguel in his car and drove away from the scene untroubled. They want to shove the whole affair under the carpet. This is what made the eventual war between them so brutal, as they knew exactly where to strike to inflict maximum damage. The real Cali cartel was poisonously homophobic. When Cali nearly kill Pablo's kids with a bomb outside their apartment, Escobar becomes like an avenging angel, enraged that his children are being dragged into his seedy business. But when it finally happens, the show pulls another rug out from under us. According to his own son, Escobar used to boast about his crimes and warn his kids they might become victims themselves. When they started out, they were practically brothers. Colombia Reports notes the fire that destroyed Escobar's records likely came from military rockets. [25], According to Felipe Turover Chudnov, who was a senior intelligence officer with the foreign-intelligence directorate of the KGB, Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin secretly decreed in the early 1990s that Russia would become an international hub through which narcotics are trafficked including cocaine and heroin from South America and heroin from Central Asia and Southeast Asia. This is very, very different from what the show portrays, which is a world where the Castaos are effectively a separate part of Colombia's troubles who get roped into the cocaine war. The bodies of those murdered were often tossed into the Cauca River, which later became known as the "River of Death". While officials were able to discover the use of the laptop, it is reported they were unable to decrypt many of the files due to sophisticated encryption techniques. Upon their confession, they agreed to forfeit $2.1billion in assets. None of this is a problem at all if you can't speak Spanish. Thematically and narratively, having Murphy right there when Escobar is finally eliminated makes perfect sense.

The death of Pablo Escobar marked the end of the line for agents Steve Murphy and Javier Pena. With the subsequent success of the show, Murphy and Pena now travel the world doing press junkets and speaking to audiences of thousands. , , (), : : 90- , " -3. By 1987, the cooperation forged by the formation of MAS no longer existed. The gunman opened fire using a machine gun on the crowd where Herrera was sitting, killing 19. Gee, it's almost like real-life narco terrorist psychopaths really don't have a conscience. [9], In the absence of a hardline policy from the DEA on cocaine, the trade flourished. Martinez is still alive today, but Narcos was right that Escobar tried his damnedest to murder him. She wants him to surrender and get a sweet deal, or at least take the family and leave Colombia for good. It ain't so great at accurate history. But the real Cali and Medellin weren't so different. [10], In his book End of Millennium, Manuel Castells states the Cali Cartel had participated in social cleansing of hundreds of desechables ("discardables"). It's powerful stuff, and Connie's return to the U.S. with their adopted daughter is a great way of showing how the hunt for Escobar is leaving Murphy isolated and hollowed out. But there is one area where TV Pablo is shown to have something like morals: his family. One of the strengths of Narcos season 2 is that we know Escobar is living on borrowed time. They took off and headed towards the compound but one of the helicopters ended up crashing onto a mountainside, minutes away from the compound. While his desire to go legit does feel like narrative shorthand for showing us he's not evil, the fact that he was a real person who really did take down Cali seems to suggest Narcos basically does a good job of portraying him. According to the real Jorge Salcedo, Cali's hit men would do things like pull people apart using two vehicles driving in opposite directions. But if you're a native speaker, it's the most glaring lie of all. It was only when a newspaper resurfaced his conviction for cocaine possession that Escobar finally got the Congressional boot. Season 3 ends with him helping his dad fix fences and otherwise living a simple, small-town life. Well, one of the reasons it was so odd was because the writers did with the plot what any good mule would do with a condom full of Escobar's marching powder: They pulled it out their butts. Halfway through Season 2, Narcos pulls possibly its most brutal twist of all. [54] For his service, Salcedo and his extended family were relocated to the US and he received rewards of about $1.7million. Just as David is storming out into the streets in the final episode, looking for vengeance on those who betrayed his father, he's gunned down by a rival cartel. The Cali Cartel would become known for its innovations in trafficking and production, by moving its refining operations out of Colombia to Peru and Bolivia, as well as for pioneering new trafficking routes through Panama. [33][34] Kumarin-Barsukov, of the Tambov Russian mafia was a partner in Znamenskaya, a subsidiary of SPAG. Still, it's hard to feel sorry for a guy who once helped his father run a drug empire even larger than Pablo Escobar's. In another seizure the following year, a USCS wiretap on Harold Ackerman, whose affiliation was derived from the 1991 seizure, enabled the arrest of seven individuals and 6,000 kilograms (13,228lb) of cocaine hidden in a load of broccoli. Most notably, this includes Joe Toft, who really did go on the record in September 1994 to call Colombia a "narco democracy" and accuse President Ernesto Samper of being bought and paid for by the Cali cartel (via UPI). A guy who isn't afraid to use the narco terrorists' own tactics on them, he's the dark side of the law but also the best chance at catching Escobar. [15][16][17][18], According to reports and testimony of Thomas Constantine to the United States Congress, "Cali would be the dominant group in trafficking South American heroin due to their access to the opium-growing areas of Colombia." Narcos is right on one point, though. Murphy's presence isn't the only thing off with Narcos' portrayal of Escobar's death. The two only drifted when Escobar started attacking the Colombian state, something Cali worried would spark a confrontation they couldn't win. [50], Along with some of the locals, the Cali Cartel formed parties self-named grupos de limpieza social ("social cleansing groups") who murdered the desechables, often leaving them with signs on them stating: "Cali limpia, Cali linda" ("clean Cali, beautiful Cali"). We've all seen that photo of him dead on the Internet the only question is what depths he will plumb before the bullet finally catches him. A deep dive into the murky world of the war on drugs, Pablo Escobar's Medellin cartel, and the power plays at the top of Colombian politics in the '80s and '90s, Narcos is famed for its commitment to historical accuracy. M-19 demanded a ransom of $15 million for Marta's safe release, but were rejected.

[37] In the early 2000s, the company's co-founder Rudolf Ritter was arrested in Liechtenstein for laundering cocaine cash for the Cali cartel. [55] The second plot to kill Escobar was to bomb the prison by using an A-37 Dragonfly surplus ground-attack jet bomber in private ownership. Hence their effectiveness as part of Los Pepes. Who'd have thought it? But the real Murphy at least felt she was a willing part of the narco lifestyle, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "She knew, just like his mother, what he was doing. So, yeah, the one "good" narco from Narcos was actually as shady as his career would suggest. [2], At the height of the Cali Cartel's reign from 1993-1995, they were cited as having control of over 80% of the world's cocaine market and were said to be directly responsible for the growth of the cocaine market in Europe, controlling 80% of the market there as well. [60], In 1993, the US Customs Service struck again at the Cali cartel, this time seizing 5,600 kilograms (12,346lb) while pursuing Raul Marti, the only remaining member of the defunct Miami cell. He had family connections to the darker sides of Colombia's military, connections that saw him spearhead an attempt in the late 1980s to assassinate FARC's leadership. Standing in the ruins of his home, the real Martinez was offered $6 million to stop fighting Escobar. The showrunners used him as a useful receptacle for stuff many DEA agents did at the time. Sometimes, he would have them all murdered afterward. [51][59], While the Cali Cartel operated with a degree of immunity early on, owing to its ties to the government and the Medelln Cartel's narco-terrorism war on the Colombian government, they were still subjected to drug seizures.

The desechables included prostitutes, street children, petty thieves, homosexuals and the homeless. Tanks blasted the palace with shells. At the time, M19 were considered a bigger threat than ELN, and maybe even more so than FARC. [54][55], The counter-intelligence TN Education Centre of the Cali Cartel often surprised the DEA and Colombian officials. [54][55], There was no turning back for Salcedo. Showrunner Eric Newman put it like this: "we've sort of put Pena as our one continuous character and made him representative of the DEA and the management in Colombia at the time," which is producer speak for "yeah, it's all bull poop, but it's poop that makes excellent TV!". Cali, by contrast, is coke done NYC business style, with Pacho just as likely to take you golfing as he is to massacre your family. The Cartel also diversified into opium and was reported to have brought in a Japanese chemist to help its refining operation. In response to the kidnapping, the Medelln and Cali cartels, as well as associated traffickers, formed the group Muerte a Secuestradores (MAS; "Death to Kidnappers"). The bombing led to the Cali Cartel going to war against the Medellin Cartel in revenge for the massive bombing. He really was gay, and the other Cali godfathers really didn't mind. We're the only ones that still have them now. [4][10], The Cali Cartel eventually became "The biggest, most powerful crime syndicate we've ever known", according to then DEA chief Thomas Constantine. Maybe he headed into the countryside, or maybe he just sat around with Limn talking soccer and drinking lukewarm cans of Aguilla in a cruddy hideout. Although the attempt failed, it was evidently impressive enough that it landed Salcedo on Cali's radar. He prefered teenagers and underage virgins, and would throw wild parties featuring girls who were way too young to have ever had sex before. [8] In an interview with Time, Gilberto admitted to money being laundered through the bank; however, he attributed the process to only legal actions. Probably not, but that felt like the kind of thing that we could do in the context of our story. Type "Cali wedding bomb" into Google and all you'll get are discussions of Narcos rather than, y'know, actual history. ELN barely shows up, and FARC is portrayed in Season 3 as little more than a bunch of farmers living in the jungle (rather than an insurgent army that once controlled a third of Colombia). I think that [FSB chief] Nikolai Patrushev is coming from the 15th to the 17th. [53], The Cali cartel then hired a member of Colombia's military, a civil engineer named Jorge Salcedo. For example, the kids were always made to travel between safehouses wearing blindfolds. The threat of death also hung over those who made mistakes. The only character to appear in all three seasons of Narcos plus Narcos: Mexico is the Cali godfather Pacho Herrera (above). They were solely responsible for identification of assets stemming from their cocaine trafficking. Finally, Raul and Luis Grajales, cousins by marriage, were a careful duo who tried to portray themselves as legitimate. But no other group has been portrayed so oddly as M19. One party in the 1980s ended with Medellin police discovering the abused bodies of 24 teenage girls. He dies then and there, lamented by no one.

Narcos is definitely great TV. [37][38] Jalol Khaidarov (Russian: ) stated that the final destination of the funds was to the "Operator Trade Center" in Liechtenstein but also said that the Bank of New York was a participant. It is widely believed that the cartel continued to operate and run trafficking operations from within prison. As Newman points out in the interview, it's known that Escobar died before his dad, so it's entirely possible that something like what happened on the show is close to the truth. [6] Londoo was also believed to have a person within the phone company itself, which the officials realized when he was able to recognize a phone tap, one that had been placed directly at the phone company, instead of at his residence. [14] Gilberto was arrested in his home, and Henry Loaiza-Ceballos, Victor Patio-Fomeque and Phanor Arizabaleta-Arzayus surrendered to authorities. ", "Kuchma's 'Parallel Cabinet' The center of President Kuchma's authoritarian rule based on the Melnychenko recordings", , " ". It is reported by Time magazine, in 1991, DEA and U.S. Customs Service (now ICE) agents were monitoring a shipment being offloaded in Miami, only to find out later that the DEA agents were the target of Cali surveillance at the same time. Basically, these were a scary bunch of guys, and it was their civil war against the government that gave Escobar space to flourish. By this time there was a crowd of civilians that had gathered at the airfield curious about what was happening. In 1981, the then-guerrilla group, Movimiento 19 de Abril (M-19; "19th of April Movement"), kidnapped Marta Nieves Ochoa, the sister of the Medelln Cartel's Ochoa brothers, Jorge, Fabio and Juan David. Among them was the bombing of Gilberto Rodriguez's daughter's wedding. According to Murphy, she got upset when she read her character was being written out. Per the Miami Herald, it undermined the effectiveness of crucial scenes. [6][57], Included in the list of government officials and officers on the Cali Cartel payroll were a reported 5,000taxi drivers. As such, they were also in charge of the Cali Cartel operations on a grand scale. Fittingly for such a man, Escobar's romantic appetites are shown as equally large. They also distributed cocaine throughout the United States from Los Angeles to Miami to New York City. However, he did not hit Herrera. In many ways, Narcos gets its portrayal of Pacho right.

[60], Between June and July 1995, the remaining six of the seven heads of the cartel were arrested. The most important one of all may be that it was probably the Colombian military that started the fire. This wasn't to protect them. So, so many spoilers below From the get-go, Narcos makes one thing clear about its version of Pablo Escobar. Expanding on the prior success of MAS, the cartels and independent traffickers would meet again. To Colombian viewers' everlasting disappointment, they mostly failed. Manuel Castells went into some depth in his book End of the Millennium. According toNACLA,Cali was the first major cartel to arise in Colombia, but it had no interest in being the only one. They trained for a few months until they heard Escobar was going to be staying at the compound, celebrating the fact that his football team had won a tournament. In 2016,The Hollywood Reporter spoke to the real Pena about Narcos season two. While certain groups were only handling certain aspects for the cartel, the Rodriguez brothers were involved in all aspects from production to transportation to wholesale distribution to money laundering. [12][37] Juan Carlos Saavedra represented the Cali Cartel in Spain. Despite once being the biggest rebel group in Colombia, FARC is curiously absent from Narcos. Introduced in season two, Don Berna is a major player in the Medellin crime scene, despite never seeming to set foot outside his favorite cafe. [32], St. Petersburg Immobilien und Beteiligungs AG or SPAG is a real estate company registered in Germany under Putin's control in 1992 and suspected by German police of facilitating Saint Petersburg mobsters, Colombian drug lords, and transcontinental money laundering.