El Cartel de los Sapos (2008– )

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Series cast summary:
 Martín (2 episodes, 2008)
 Milton Jiménez 'El Cabo' (2 episodes, 2008)
Michael ...
 Max (2 episodes, 2008)
 Pepe Cadena (2 episodes, 2008)
Johnny Acero ...
 'Lagartija' (2 episodes, 2008)
Joavany Alvarez ...
 Silvio Mendez / ... (2 episodes, 2008)
 Katherine (2 episodes, 2008)
 William Torres (2 episodes, 2008)
Carlos Augusto Maldonado ...
 Miguel (2 episodes, 2008)
Johnny Nessy ...
 Henry Diaz (2 episodes, 2008)
Julio Ocampo ...
 Cristian (2 episodes, 2008)
Federico Rivera ...
 René Zamudio (2 episodes, 2008)
Cyril Serrao ...
 James Cleaver (2 episodes, 2008)
Nelson Steegers
(2 episodes, 2008)


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Release Date:

4 June 2008 (Colombia)  »

Also Known As:

Kartel  »

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Followed by El cartel 2 - La guerra total (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

A Colombian Sopranos- without the boring stuff
15 January 2009 | by (US) – See all my reviews

The first season of the series is still ongoing and I'm glad to read that a second season will be made. I started watching it during the first week but missed some of the first episodes. It appears that Telemundo, which airs it in the US in 30-minute daily episodes as "El Cartel", is doing some heavy editing not only for language but also length. I would guess that originally it is produced in one-hour episodes and that Telemundo butchers it in half. The story goes by very fast and it can be difficult to keep up. It's shameful that it's being cut so much for the purpose that it can be shown after the far more inferior and downright moronic "Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso".

This is an excellent and realistic Colombian series about drug trafficking filmed both in Colombia and the US. The story is told in extended flashbacks.

The main character, a cartel captain named Martin is in jail giving a taped confession. The story of how he got there really takes up most of each episode. He is a member of the Pacific Cartel at war with the Western Cartel. Not sure what the geographic limits of each are since in Colombia, the Pacific coast occupies the West. In addition to the wars between cartels is the heavy pressure from the government for the drug lords to turn themselves in. And many bosses from both cartels are sitting in jail, or "the university" as they call it. But being jailed is not all that bad for these guys. They don't sit in jail cells, they have suites, with all sorts of accommodations and services, and continue to run things from the inside.

The drug lords decide who lives, who dies, who has to go to jail- as a gesture to the government so it can orchestrate successful operations- who gets to leave Colombia for the good life in Miami. There is also a DEA agent in Colombia trying to make deals with drug bosses to rat out everyone else, in exchange for a new life and identity in the US.

All this leads to everyone potentially ratting out everyone else, everyone is a target of the enemy gang, the military, but also of their own bosses. Not an easy life.

As I write this, all the bosses sit in jail and plan how to kill each other. Everyone left out there is also planning to avenge whatever previous deaths and attempts to kill there were. Our main character is in Miami trying to stay out of things. His best friend is also in Miami, but he's getting involved in some shady affairs. Their wives are not so happy. Life in US is not like life in Latin America. Here they are by themselves without family and all the wealth and material things can't make up for that.

There are a lot of characters to keep track. Most of them are very well acted, especially, our main character and his boss. There's also a lose cannon of a captain simply known as "Cabo" who survived an attack. He is completely bloodthirsty and out for revenge. He just ordered his underling to kill a childhood personal friend of the underling who is part of the other cartel.

Production values are first rate. There are some pretty good action scenes and shootouts. The women are gorgeous- no surprise there for Colombian actresses. As for most Colombian series, the script is outstanding and the language real life. There are some very funny lines and unique personalities. The story and the characters are what captivate you- despite the criminal editing by Telemundo.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I really like this series ! clarita2
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