Is Cali Cartel’s David Rodriguez Real? Facts Behind The ‘Narcos’ Character

In Season 3 of Narcos, Arturo Castro portrays Cali Cartel’s David Rodriguez, who is Miguel’s son. As the son of a drug cartel boss, David is characterized as entitled and hot-tempered. He seems over his head on many occasions and feuds with Jorge Salcedo but is loyal to his father.

Narcos Season 3 spoilers ahead?

Narcos final episode shows David Rodriguez being shot multiple times by the North Valley Cartel sicarios but was the character real? There seems to be conflicting information on David from real sources involved in the dismantling of the Cali Cartel.

The real DEA agent Chris Feistl spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about Narcos Season 3. Feistl told the magazine that the depiction of David Rodriguez’s death was accurate and goes on to describe the real son of the Cali Cartel boss as an intelligent young man that attempted to take over cartel operations while his father was in prison.

Chris Feistl then goes on to insinuate that David was entitled due to his father’s position and describes his death.

“Because of who his father was, he was able to act or get away with certain things. He was gunned down by a North Valley member. He was shot six or eight times, I believe,” the DEA agent tells the Hollywood Reporter.

However, the real Jorge Salcedo was asked about the portrayal of his feud with David Rodriguez. Salcedo tells Entertainment Weekly that the tense relationship was with Miguel’s oldest son William Rodriguez. However, William Rodriguez-Abadia is alive and wrote a book titled I Am the Son of the Cali Cartel.

It is also worth noting that the real Salcedo said “oldest” son not “only” son.

It is possible that Narcos combined Miguel’s son’s David and William into one character. Furthermore, unlike David in Narcos, William Rodriguez was not loyal to Miguel as he agreed to testify against his father and uncle Gilberto Rodriguez in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Wiliam Rodriguez stated in an interview that his father Miguel wanted him to be a lawyer. However, in Narcos the lawyer is Gilberto’s son. Narcos showrunner confirmed that the series is “probably 50-50” truth and fiction adding that the “the chronology is accurate.”

DEA agent Chris Feistl is a credible source; therefore, it is likely that David Rodriguez existed. However, it seems his character is also based on Miguel’s other son William.

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