Former Colombian ‘drug lord’ Gilberto Rodríguez dies in US prison
Published: 05:58 PM, 2 June 2022
Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela; Photo: Collected
Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, an elderly leader of the once-powerful drug trafficking ring “Cali Cartel” in the Latin American country of Colombia, has died in a US prison. He was 83.
BBC reported this in a report on Thursday (June 2).
Gilberto and his team once controlled most of the world’s cocaine trade. He was the main rival of Pablo Escobar, another “drug lord” of Colombia, BBC reported.
Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela was also known as a “chess player” as he was always one step ahead of other rivals and the law.
However, in 1995, Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela lost to fate. He was arrested in Columbia that same year. He was extradited to the United States in 2004.
Gilberto Rodríguez was serving a 30-year sentence in a North Carolina jail. His family says “he fell ill last Tuesday and died there”.
During the peak of his power, Gilberto Rodríguez and his brother, Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, ran a powerful drug trafficking ring called “Cali Cartel”.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Cali Cartel occupied 80 percent of the world’s total cocaine trade in the mid-1990s.
Cali Cartel gained exclusive control of the cocaine trade in 1993 after Pablo Escobar, the leader of the Medellín Cartel in Colombia, was killed by police.
Although Pablo Escobar’s Medellín was notorious for violence, Gilberto and Miguel Rodríguez described themselves as “responsible businessmen”.