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Jorge Salcedo's clandestine transition from a notorious drug cartel's head of security to a DEA informant.
Investigative reporter Rempel's debut offers a behind-the-scenes look at a never-before-told story—the secret plot to assassinate drug lord Pablo Escobar, recounted by the man hired to do it. After eight years interviewing Salcedo, Rempel pieces together his source's unbelievable story, one in which two rival Columbian drug cartels—Pablo Escobar's Medellín and the Rodríguez Orejuela brothers' Cali—waged a war for trafficking supremacy. When Salcedo met the godfathers of the Cali cartel, he was given a clear assignment: "We want Pablo Escobar dead." Driven by his own anti-Escobar views, as well as the promise of incalculable riches, Salcedo accepted, though the task was not without its problems. After a downed helicopter halted the hit, word of the attempt was soon leaked, causing Salcedo to fear for his life. Rempel's book reads like an action-packed blockbuster, complete with a cast of hot-headed, short-fused drug lords and their trigger-happy underlings. Ultimately, Escobar was not killed by Salcedo's hit squad, but by the Bloque de Búsqueda, a special-operations unit within the Colombian police force. Believing his services no longer necessary, Salcedo attempted to back out of the cartel, though his resignation was refused. One of the bosses crisply informed him, "You are one of us. You are family"—making it clear that there was no escape. Salcedo's desperate attempt for an exit strategy provoked him to turn against the cartel, serving as a DEA informant and jeopardizing his life in the process.
A fast-paced, heart-racing nonfiction thriller, occasionally bloated by excessive drugs, blood and bullets.