The sordid history of Miami's drug war during the 1980s
Cocaine Cowboys takes us back to 1980s Miami, a time when a booming new business changed the face of the city forever. That business was cocaine trafficking on an international scale.
When Colombian drug suppliers found that Miami was the perfect place to smuggle dope into the United States, shady characters were lining up and willing to risk all in exchange for the massive profits and with so much cash rolling in, the city’s banks were running out of storage.
Smugglers were getting sneakier to avoid arrest, from floating tanks with radio tracking devices to cars stashed with drugs so well-connected drivers with tow trucks could haul them away and abandon them if necessary. And with Miami’s gangs all competing, hitmen were working overtime to keep up with the revenge killings.
Filmmaker Billy Corben was able to convince many of the key figures from the era to talk on camera about their exploits and the law enforcement officers who struggled to keep up with them.
Cocaine Cowboys is a true-life thriller about Miami’s criminal underbelly that was the inspiration for the movie Scarface and the TV series Miami Vice.