Many fans have described Jorge Salcedo as the real star of Narcos Season 3. Salcedo, as portrayed in the series, was an unlikely employee of a ruthless drug cartel. Narcos showrunner Eric Newman has described meeting the real Salcedo, who is portrayed by Matias Varela in Season 3.
Warning: Narcos Season 3 spoilers are ahead.
Eric Newman describes Jorge Salcedo as “brave” and “fascinating.” He is currently in the U.S. witness protection program. Newman gave some insight into the type of precaution required to meet Salcedo, who may still have a bounty on his head for his role in bringing down the Cali Cartel.
The Narcos showrunner told the Hollywood Reporter that Jorge couldn’t check into a hotel because he doesn’t travel with identification. Newman talked meeting Salcedo, stating that “you never really know what he’s thinking” due to his atypical background for someone in the drug business.
Eric also talked about the likelihood that the security man, who held university degrees in mechanical engineering and industrial economics, got as much a thrill out of working for the Cali Cartel as being terrified.
Jorge Salcedo’s efficiency in electronic surveillance made him invaluable to the Cali Cartel, and as shown in Narcos Season 3, he had planned to leave the organization to start his own business.
In an interview with Vulture, Matias Varela was asked about the scene where Salcedo kills Cali Cartel sicario Navegante. Varela notes that Salcedo was never convicted of any murder charges but personally believes that he did it.
While there is not much information on Navegante, the character is based on a real person as Varela confirms that he disappeared.
Unlike most people involved in drug cartels, Jorge Salcedo did not come from a poor background and had a legitimate career. Being forced to leave Colombia after becoming an informant, his family had to learn English and start over with new identities.
Matias Varela suspects that the real Jorge Salcedo regrets becoming an informant but also regrets joining the Cali Cartel to begin with.
The last straw for the real Jorge Salcedo was when he was asked to kill the Cali Cartel accountant Guillermo Pallomari. Instead of going through with it, he contacted the DEA and started the motion that ultimately brought down the Cali Cartel.
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