In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago - and it put the city on the map. "Cocaine Cowboys" is the true story of how Miami became the drug, murder and cash capital of the United States, told by the people who made it all happen.Written by
Blanco was killed by two gunmen on a motorcycle as she walked out of a butcher shop in her hometown, Medellín, on September 3, 2012. The Miami Herald cites El Colombiano newspaper reports that one man fired two bullets into her head, executing her in the type of "motorcycle assassination" she has been credited with inventing. See more »
Life was good in Miami in the 70s. You could blow into town with $500 dollars in your pocket, and the next things you know, you are burying millions in your bag yard, driving the hottest cars, have two or three cigarette boats, a string of race horse, and land all the way up to horse country in Marion County. You didn't think twice about dropping $20,000 on food and drink because you had so much. The Miami skyline was booming with two dozen construction cranes operating, cars were selling like hotcakes, and there was no trace of the recession that was occurring elsewhere in the US.
But, then came the 80s and there were 100,000 illegal Colombians in Miami and Castro had just flushed Cuba's toilet and dumped his criminals into the city in the Mariel boat lift. War began between the drug dealers on these two sides, and it came to the attention of Reagan and Bush that there was a problem in Miami that affected the whole country.
Long before I got attracted to Carl Hiaasen's fiction, I was reading his columns from the Miami Herald. Forget Scarface, this was the real thing. Shootouts with shotguns and automatic weapons on the streets in broad daylight. Miami had become Dodge City and Chicago during Prohibition to the tenth power.
This is the story of those two decades in Miami and the results today - a booming international city built on cocaine. The truth really is more exciting than what you see on Miami Vice.
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