Cali Cartel
Cali Cartel

The world is not all roses and sunshine as we thought when we were children. It is good and evil in the world, and unfortunately, evil is growing very fast in the world. From the days as far as we can recall, there has always been an evil force lying around ready to pounce on the innocent. Just as every other thing has been growing around the world, so is the evil in the world growing. This brings us to the area of focus for today, the Cali Cartel. The Cali Cartel was one of the biggest drug trafficking rings in the 1980s and 1990s.

Starting off as a kidnapping ring, the group moved on to a higher sort of business that would take them to levels they would never think of. At some point in their existence, it was stated that they controlled around 90% of the cocaine market in the world. Apart from just trafficking their product into their American market, the cartel was said to have liaised with some European mobsters, especially in Eastern Europe, which raised a lot of questions about the Ukrainian president. The cartel not just harmed the health of many innocent people in their markets, but they also left a trail of destruction along their paths.

The cartel involved itself in practice known as social cleansing, which involved getting rid of the “discardable” in Cali. The discardable included the prostitutes, street children, and the homeless. This trail of corpses is just among the problems that were brought about by the existence of the Cali Cartel.


The Cali Cartel was formed by the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers and Santacruz, and they all came from a higher social class than most other drug dealers came from. However, the group did not start out as a drug trafficking cartel, and they started as a kidnapping group called “Las Chemas.”

They were responsible for the kidnapping of two Swiss citizens in which they demanded a ransom of $700,000. This money is believed to be their foundation on which they built the cartel. They began by trafficking marijuana into the USA, but they later stopped because it has small profits. They decided to begin trafficking cocaine, which had higher profits and was not considered very dangerous by the DEA during those days.

The leadership comprised of Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, Jose Santacruz Londono, and Helmer Herrera Buitrago. The group took advantage of the DEA’s relaxed attitude towards cocaine as a threat to U.S. citizens. Unlike the Medellin cartel, the Cali cartel operated as individual criminal organizations that reported to a celeno (manager).

The Cali cartel was popular for designing new trafficking routes and also finding new areas to develop their products. They controlled almost 90% of the cocaine markets in the world and soon became a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Due to the major profits from the trafficking, the cartel resorted to laundering the money, such as opening a pharmaceutical chain that had a net worth of around $216 million.

The cartel had established firm networks all over, which protected them from the clutches of the American authorities. Among the government officials and officers under the payroll of the Cali Cartel, included around 5,000 taxi drivers who would inform the cartel of any government officials or anyone who would pose a threat to the cartel.

He also had managed to establish a connection that would enable them to eavesdrop on the conversations of the Colombian and American authorities. With such networks, toppling the cartel seemed like such an impossible task, but just like always, all good things must come to an end.


The Cali Cartel was operating at its highest tempo, and nothing seemed to stop them. The American authorities never gave up and kept seizing every loophole they got. At some point, the Cali cartel had hired a member of the Colombian Army, Jorge Salcedo, who had befriended and hired a group of mercenaries to wage war against the left-wing guerilla forces.

They hired him for the sole purpose of killing Pablo Escobar, but after he had been pushed to limits he could not cross, he decided to contact the CIA in U.S.A to work as an informant, which was the death blow to the cartel. In the following years, the American authorities had arrested six out of seven of the Cali Cartel leaders, and after being extradited, they pleaded guilty to their crimes and were forced to give up $2.1billion of their assets.

Awards & Achievements

The Cali Cartel was a notorious drug cartel that brought a lot of havoc in Colombia and also other countries. Because of their activities, people highly doubt that the cartel could have received an award for their activities.

Net Worth of Cali Cartel in 2024

Cali Cartel Net Worth
Cali Cartel Net Worth

The Cali cartel was one of the biggest drug trafficking rings in their time. Controlling around 90% of the cocaine markets in the world is a big deal. Because of this, the Cali Cartel ended being extremely wealthy. At some point, it was stated that the Cali cartel made about $25 billion per year. At the moment, it is difficult to establish the net worth of the cartel since the leaders of the cartel were arrested and extradited to the U.S.A.

The Cali Cartel should be quite unforgettable for the great dealings and operations that they ran. In the years that their operations began to pick, the DEA Chief, Thomas Constantine, said they were “The biggest, most powerful crime syndicate we’ve ever known.” Although the kingpins of the cartel were arrested, it is still believed that some other associates who weren’t arrested are still continuing the operations.


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