The 1980's: The Drug Cartels Of Colombia

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Back in the 1980’s, the drug cartels of Colombia were the cause of chaos all over the world – especially in the United States. In fact, at the height of their power, the Bogotá cartel supplied ninety per cent of Uncle Sam’s cocaine. The cartel was barbaric; assassinating anyone who stood in their way. To add to this, they also had the majority of the law enforcement system on their payroll. And, of course, at the heart of all of this was drug lord Carlos Ruiz and his loyal vice, Pablo Álvarez. The only hope for stopping them was newly elected president, Horacio Ibáñez.

Ibáñez took a deep breath and leaned his head towards the microphone. He could feel every individual pair of eyes burning into his face like a million lasers. Of course, he
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“Ah, the new president” he surmised.
“Horacio Ibáñez Silva.” Carlos spat his name out. “He has big plans for an extradition deal to be signed with the US.” Pablo’s palms started to sweat.

First, Carlos tried what he knew best: bribery. He wrote a letter addressed to Eugenio Salamanca Chavarría – the President’s chief advisor. It explained that if the President was to cancel the Extradition Treaty with the Americans, Carlos would give them a one-off payment of five-hundred million US dollars – which Carlos knew was enough to pay off the country’s debt. This sum was only a couple of months work for Carlos, a minor price to pay for his freedom.

If the Extradition Bill passed, it meant that any traffickers smuggling narcotics into the United States were to be tried in an American court and, most likely, imprisoned in an American correctional facility. The narcos had next to no contacts in law enforcement over there so they couldn’t bribe judges. A Colombian prison isn’t really a prison for cartel members anyway. It’s a hangout full of drugs, alcohol and prostitutes thanks to the corrupt prison system and guards. In an American prison, the narcos truly served their
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The call was made from the President’s private jet, which was headed to Miami to meet with the head of the DEA. The raid resulted in the arrest of Mr Carlos Eduardo Ruiz Gaviria. Pablo Álvarez had fled the scene and was nowhere to be found.

The President’s plane touched the asphalt in Miami International Airport at approximately 0240 hours. The head of the DEA boarded the plane in the hangar and the Treaty was signed by both men.

Carlos was flown first thing in the morning to California where he was charged with ninety-five counts of murder, sixty-five counts of drug trafficking and four counts of money laundering.

After a lengthy trial, which involved multiple lawyers on each side and attracted interest internationally, Carlos Ruiz was sentenced to life and one-hundred years in prison. This would undoubtedly be served in solitary confinement.

Carlos was escorted by four armed guards to block C of Pelican Bay prison; the super-maximum wing. Carlos lay on the thin mattress and looked into the guard’s eyes. The door slammed
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