Narcos season 3: Can the Cali cartel be as grotesquely violent and savage as Pablo Escobar?

“To pretend that these guys weren’t just as evil as the guy that came before them, that’s a mistake.”

Hassan Sardar August 13, 2017
Following the demise of the Medellin cartel and its kingpin, a certain Mr Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, it is now time for the Cali crew to take its claim as the new lords of blow in the latest offering of Narcos, which recently saw its first full-length trailer released last week.

While season one and two dealt with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Steve Murphy’s pursuit of the notorious don Escobar, the forthcoming third season sees veteran agent Javier Peña (Pedro Pascal) taking the reins as DEA’s chief tracker, with help from American and Colombian law enforcement agencies, hunting down the new cocaine drug lords, the Cali cartel.

Headed by the ‘boss of bosses’ Gilberto Orejuela (Damian Alcazar), including his brother Miguel Orejuela (Francisco Denis) as the brains of the whole operations, international distribution expert Pacho Herrera (Alberto Ammann), and Chepe Santacruz Londono (Pepe Rapazote) as chief of the New York City chapter of the drug network, these four boys on the whole are a completely different nature of beast to the lone wolf Escobar.

While don Escobar mainly resorted to open violence and positioned himself as an outlaw to achieve his ambitions, the Cali godfathers were very much part of the system, employing relatively subtle tactics such as bribing government officials to keep their nefariously violent actions out of the headlines.

Cali had the advantage of being sheltered by a politico-economic system that they themselves had cunningly built as opposed to Escobar who was protected by the general populace owing to their love for him. This is the very reason why the Cali cartel, led by the four drug lords, went on to become the richest drug trafficking organisation in the world.

So if you had any worries about your violent tendencies not being tended to, following the death of the charismatically sadistic Escobar, the first trailer of Netflix’s popular crime thriller quickly puts those doubts to bed and then some. The Cali crime syndicate was not just taking profits to extreme new heights during the peak of its power during the 90s, violence was also at an all-time high.

The preview gives us a glimpse into the aforementioned savagery along with drugs and retro apparel. We should also be expecting some 90s fuelled hip-hop as part of season three’s soundtrack as the trailer kicks off with Bel Biv Devoe’s classic ‘Poison’ and closes to Cypress Hill’s 1993 ‘I Ain’t Going Out Like That’.

A word of caution – if you are faint-hearted, the trailer is grotesquely violent, so better give it (along with the whole season) a miss if you are not comfortable digesting graphical brutality.

Along with the Game of Thrones famed Pascal (Prince Oberyn Martell) and the four antagonists, the cast for the third season also includes Jorge Salcedo (Matias Varela) as Cali’s head of security, DEA agents Chris Feistl (Michael Stahl-David) and Daniel Van Ness (Matt Whelan), cartel’s money launderer Franklin Jurado (Miguel Angel Silvestre), and David Rodriguez (Arturo Castro) as son of Miguel, one of the Orejuela brothers who we currently don’t fear as much as we feared Escobar. Narcos season three’s promo, however, warns us,
“To pretend that these guys weren’t just as evil as the guy that came before them, that’s a mistake.”

The king is dead, long live the king(s)!

Narcos season three premiers September 1st on Netflix.
Hassan Sardar The author is an aspiring filmmaker and a diehard Liverpool fan. He also teaches Screenwriting and Cinematography, and loves tattoos and flip-flops. He tweets as @CineSardar (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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