At the Devil's Table by William C. Rempel
The Untold Story of the Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel

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Synopsis

In this riveting and relentless nonfiction thriller, award-winning investigative reporter William C. Rempel tells the harrowing story of former Cali cartel insider Jorge Salcedo, an ordinary man facing an extraordinary dilemma—a man forced to risk everything to escape the powerful and treacherous Cali crime syndicate.

Colombia in the 1990s is a country in chaos, as a weak government battles guerrilla movements and narco-traffickers, including the notorious Pablo Escobar and his rivals in the Cali cartel. Enter Jorge Salcedo, a part-time soldier, a gifted engineer, a respected businessman and family man—and a man who despises Pablo Escobar for patriotic and deeply personal reasons. He is introduced to the godfathers of the Cali cartel, who are at war with Escobar and desperately want their foe dead. With mixed feelings, Jorge agrees to help them.

Once inside, Jorge rises to become head of security for Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, principal godfather of the $7-billion-a-year Cali drug cartel. Jorge tries to turn a blind eye to the violence, corruption, and brutality that surround him, and he struggles privately to preserve his integrity even as he is drawn deeper into the web of cartel operations. Then comes an order from the godfathers that he can’t obey—but can’t refuse. Jorge realizes that his only way out is to bring down the biggest, richest crime syndicate of all time.

Thus begins a heart-pumping roller-coaster ride of intensifying peril. Secretly aided by a pair of young American DEA agents, Jorge races time and cartel assassins to extract damaging evidence, help capture the fugitive godfather, and save the life of a witness targeted for murder. Through it all, death lurks a single misstep away.

William C. Rempel is the only reporter with access to this story and to Jorge, who remains in hiding somewhere in the United States—even the author doesn’t know where—but has revealed his experience in gripping detail. Salcedo’s is the story of one extraordinary ordinary man forced to risk everything to end a nightmare of his own making.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About William C. Rempel

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William C. Rempel spent thirty-six years as an investigative reporter and editor at the Los Angeles Times. Rempel has been recognized with numerous journalism honors, including an Overseas Press Club Award, and a Gerald Loeb Award, and he was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
 
Published June 21, 2011 by Random House. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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When Salcedo met the godfathers of the Cali cartel, he was given a clear assignment: “We want Pablo Escobar dead.” Driven by his own anti-Escobar views, as well as the promise of incalculable riches, Salcedo accepted, though the task was not without its problems.

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BC Books

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While in some places the book does try to be lyrical, poetic, or whatnot with prose or adjective, it mostly stays focused, easy to read and best of all, backed by solid data.

Jul 05 2011 | Read Full Review of At the Devil's Table: The Unt...

BC Books

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Rempel's At the Devil's Table: The Untold Story of the Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel is a non-fiction narrative of the Cali drug cartel in the 1990s.

Jul 05 2011 | Read Full Review of At the Devil's Table: The Unt...

Los Angeles Times

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desperate to escape, Salcedo devises a long-shot plan to bring the Cali cartel leaders down, and recruits the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to assist him.

Jul 23 2011 | Read Full Review of At the Devil's Table: The Unt...

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