The Untold Story of the Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel
From Random House:
In this riveting and relentless non-fiction thriller, award-winning investigative reporter William C. Rempel tells the harrowing story of former Cali cartel insider Jorge Salcedo, an ordinary man facing an extraordinary dilemma—forced to risk everything to escape the powerful and treacherous crime syndicate.
Colombia in the 1990s is a country in chaos as a weak government battles guerrilla movements and narco-traffickers, including the notorious Pablo Escobar and his rivals in the Cali cartel. Enter Jorge Salcedo, a part-time soldier, a gifted engineer, a respected businessman and family man–and a man who despises Pablo Escobar for patriotic and deeply personal reasons. He is introduced to the godfathers of the Cali cartel, who are at war with Escobar and desperately want their foe dead. With mixed feelings, Jorge agrees to help them.
Once inside, Jorge rises to become head of security for Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, principal godfather of the $7 billion-a-year Cali drug cartel. Surrounded by violence, corruption, and brutality, Jorge tries to turn a blind eye and struggles privately to preserve his integrity even as he is drawn deeper into the web of cartel operations. Then comes an order from the godfathers that he can’t obey—but he can’t refuse. Jorge realizes his only way out is to bring down the biggest, richest crime syndicate of all time.
Thus begins a heart-pumping roller coaster ride of intensifying peril. Secretly aided by a pair of young American DEA agents, Jorge races time and cartel assassins to extract damaging evidence, help capture the fugitive. godfather, and save the life of a another key witness targeted for murder. Through it all, death lurks a single misstep away.
William C. Rempel is the only reporter with access to this story and to Jorge, who remains in hiding somewhere in the United States – even the author doesn’t know where – but has revealed his experience in gripping detail. Salcedo’s is the story of one extraordinary ordinary man forced to risk everything to end a nightmare of his own making.
Inside the Fall of the Cali Cartel, World’s Biggest Crime Syndicate
WOULD YOU RISK YOUR LIFE TO SAVE YOUR SOUL?
Colombia in the 1990s was a country on the brink. A weak government riddled with corruption battled billion-dollar cocaine cartels run with cold-blooded violence by rival gangsters Pablo Escobar in Medellin and the Rodriguez brothers in Cali. Countless innocent lives were torn apart.
One such life was Jorge Salcedo’s, a part-time soldier and respected businessman and family man, who lost a childhood friend to Escobar’s assassins. His military connections led him to a secret meeting with the Cali crime bosses, sworn enemies of Escobar, who offered Salcedo the chance to join them and help take out Pablo. With mixed feelings, he agreed.
Once inside, Salcedo could not resign. He turned a blind eye to the violence and trafficking around him and rose to become head of cartel security, struggling to preserve his integrity even as he sank deeper into the mire. Then came an order that he could not obey…but could not refuse. His only way out was to bring down the biggest, richest crime family of all time.
And so begins a heart-pumping roller coaster ride that has to be read to be believed. Secretly aided by DEA agents, Salcedo must risk everything to help capture his fugitive cartel boss and save the life of a witness targeted for murder. A bullet in the head is always a misstep away.
Salcedo remains in hiding in the United States, but has revealed his experiences in full and explosive detail to one journalist. This is the cartel insider’s remarkable story and a gripping piece of true crime.