Cocaine Cowboys

Cocaine Cowboys tells the story of ther the illegal drug trade that occured during the late 70′s and early 80′s when Colombian druglords collaborated with American drug movers and created a bloody debauchery that would impact Miami and it’s economy significantly. The documentary explains the movement from marijuana to cocaine as the popular drug in America of the time. The interviewees in the documentary include Jon Roberts, Jorge “Rivi” Ayala, Sgt. Al Singleton, and Mickey Munday. Roberts and Munday were the experts on moving the drug, establishing movement and buying property all over the state to insure the secrecy of their business. They told stories of  how they made use of the millions of dollars they were bringing in from the transportation and sale of the drug.

Everything seemed to be running smoothely until Griselda Blanco “godmother” became involved. Jorge Ayala was Griselda’s primary hitman and told stories of her ruthless nature and how she would hire him to kill almost anyone including children. He admitted to killing more that 25 people during his employment with Blanco and is still serving time today. Blanco was eventually arrested and deported back to Columbia. Her location is currently unknown.

The documentary portrays how the popularity of the drug stimulated Miami’s economy. Drug movers, such as Jon Roberts and Mickey Munday lived excessive lives, buying cars and properties whenever they pleased. Skyscrapers and dance clubs were built with the money brought in from large cocaine sales making Miami’s economy flourish, but simultaneously causing the death of many innocent lives living in or around the city. Those who survived the years of Griselda Blanco saw the transformation of the city and wonder whether a skyline was worth all the deaths that happened because of the drug wars.

As a result of drug-war politics, the US government became an accomplice, albeit indirectly, of authoritarian rule” (Youngers 138). In short, the US government had a relationship with Montezinos, the Peruvian “drug czar”.  The CIA knew about the drug trade that was occuring at one point and allowed it to happen.  Further, CIA documents explain Manuel Noriega’s collaboration with the Reaganm Administration when he was discovered collaborating with Colombian drug-traffickers. “ In August, Noriega, a long-standing U.S. intelligence asset, sent an emissary to Washington to seek assistance from the Reagan administration in rehabilitating his drug-stained reputation.” These two events are both examples of how the US collaborated with drug-trafficking and is partly responsible for the deaths that came about.

From this documentary, I learned how big the drug wars during the 70’s and 80’s actually were. The economy benefited from the wars, but at the cost of many innocent lives. I think the documentary was a very real depiction of the brutality and scandal that came with the creation of the city that Miami is today.