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Mexico's most notorious drug lord schools a naïve journalist as to the principles behind The Cartel's success.



(story and screenplay)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
José Luis Franco ...
Angel Santana
Freddy Douglas ...
Jules Land
Mauricio Islas ...
Dolores Santana
Rafael Oliveira ...
Ned Constantine
Officer Solana
Caronte (as Khotan)
Don Amilkar
Young Angel Santana
Humberto Elizondo ...
Pedro Santana
Tom Martino ...
Tom Donaldson


Based on Mexico's current criminal climate, EL CÁRTEL is a rare look into the values and practices of the world's most intriguing and enigmatic industry - the multi-billion dollar business of drug trafficking. When Jules Land, a naïve business journalist, approaches Mexico's most notorious drug cartel and requests an audience with its leader, a one-time-priest turned murderous cutthroat, he quickly realizes he's in over his head. Wanting only the chance to kick-start his struggling career, Jules goes from seeking to understand the principles behind The Cartel's success, to fighting to return home with his wits - and his life - intact. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In Mexico, nothing goes as planned.


Drama | Thriller







Release Date:

12 May 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cartel  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$400,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Much of the dialogue and philosophies of the film's antagonist, Santana, were based on research and interviews conducted by the script's writer while participating in the research and production of the New York Times bestseller, "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't" by Jim Collins. See more »


No Nadie
Written by Edgard Jaude, Rafael Torres, Andres Ayrado
Performed by Andres Ayrado
Courtesy of 5 Alarm Music
See more »

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User Reviews

this movie shows it how it is
9 June 2009 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

this movie is chula!!! the scene in the movie where they are running drugs on the fishing boats was true to life. thats how many of the cartels get their drugs up from south America to Mexico. when i saw it, i coudldn't believe that someone knew about it!!! i saw it once when i was growing up. it was just like that but in real life there are way more people and way more squid.

the movie is good especially if you speak English and Spanish because it has words in both. film quality and actors good too especially delores. she was sexxy!!!

if you grew up in a cartel town then this movie probably made you homesick!!! it did me.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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