Narcos season 3: Former Cali Cartel member Jorge Salcedo reveals how accurate the Netflix show really is
While the first two seasons of Narcos concentrated on Pablo Escobar, the third has shifted focus onto the infamous Cali Cartel.
Jorge Salcedo was one of their central members, acting as head of security but eventually turning into a top informant who almost single-handedly brought down the cartel.
Now under witness protection, the real Salcedo acted as a consultant on the Netflix show, speaking with showrunner Eric Newman to ensure accuracy.
Following the show’s release, the former cartel member has spoken to the press about how realistic the show ended up being and what life was really like for members of the infamous group.
“The story in general remains the same [as the truth],” Salcedo told Entertainment Weekly, explaining how some of his role has been somewhat embellished.
“I saw one episode, the first or something, where they pull apart one bad guy with two motorcycles. I will say, though it’s horrendous, it’s not far from the [actual] happenings. They did that the same. Not with Harleys, they used two Land Cruisers. I wasn’t there, but I had people who were actually in the execution of these things.”
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One of the most intense moments comes when Salcedo was taken to a farmhouse, unknowing that an execution was taking place within, instead believing he was meeting Miguel[Rodriguez, one of the four Kings of Cali. He explains how, after arriving at the place, codenamed ‘The Desert’, things very suddenly got violent.
“I started hearing screaming. I did not go near it. My role was to be on the outside, make sure the road was clear. But I’ve thought many times, why did they make me do that, to be there? I didn’t have to be there. Was this a ‘welcome to the club’ situation? Or was it a test, to see how brave you are or how you’re going to deal with this? Will you tell everyone what was done here? But whatever it was, I got the picture. They could do this to anybody. To me, to anybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re a wife or anyone. They could to do it to me.”
One scene sees Salcedo almost suffocated by Miguel after they begin suspecting the informant. However, the actual suffocation didn’t happen thanks to Salcedo revealing to Miguel what was happening with the police, earning his trust.
Toward the end of season three, there’s also a scene where Salcedo kills a hitman in self-defence, something that didn’t actually happen as the DEA apparently took down the murderer.
Now in his late 60s, Salcedo remains in witness protection. Read the fascinating full interview over on EW.
Meanwhile, Pablo Escobar’s son previously spoken about the accuracy of season two, revealing 28 things the show got wrong. Narcos is available to stream on Netflix.