For a quarter century, Luis Antonio Navia worked as a high-level cocaine transporter for all of the major Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, including Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel, and flooded the United States and Europe with cocaine before his dramatic arrest in Venezuela in 2000 during the 12-nation Operation Journey.
The story of Navia’s rise, fall, takedown, imprisonment, and redemption is expertly researched and told by acclaimed biographer Jesse Fink, who has gathered interviews with Navia, Navia’s family, and a dozen law-enforcement agents in the United States and Great Britain from agencies such as the DEA, ICE and Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise (now Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs). Told in vivid detail, this true crime story will captivate the reader from start to finish.
Jesse Fink worked for two decades as a journalist, editor and columnist but is best known as the author of two internationally bestselling biographies, Bon: The Last Highway and The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC. Fink’s books collectively have been translated into 13 languages and released in over 20 countries. He lives in Sydney, Australia.
Luis Navia worked for nearly 25 years as a cocaine trafficker for the deadliest Colombian and Mexican cartels until he was arrested in the multinational sting Operation Journey in 2000. He was released in 2005 and began a new career in construction. Today he also runs his own consulting business for private clients and liaises with the US Government in matters related to antinarcotics law enforcement. He lives in Miami, Florida.
Fink tells the gripping story of Luis Navia, a prominent Cuban American drug trafficker in the 1980s and ’90s. Navia’s well-to-do parents fled Cuba when he was a small boy after Castro’s 1959 takeover and settled in Miami. In later years, he had no interest in his father’s sugar trading business and partied in college while selling cocaine. From there he became a narco for Colombian and Mexican cartels, transporting billions of dollars in coke around the world. Known as El Senador for his classy fashion sense, Navia attributes his 25-year successful run to being a businessman and not a killer. But it all came to an end in 2000 with Operation Journey, a multinational drug bust that was the largest in history. In 2001, Navia took a plea deal in the U.S. and testified against cartel members in exchange for a four-year prison sentence. Almost as fascinating as his drug years is Fink’s account of how Navia has since led a wealthy lifestyle in Miami with extended family and friends. Though Navia won’t say how much money he has, Fink estimates he has millions stashed in offshore accounts. Those interested in how the illegal drug trade and law enforcement interact will be rewarded.
Navia trafficked cocaine for decades, which ended in his takedown during the multinational Operation Journey in 2000; here, he and co-author Fink tell his story.
In August 2000, a joint–law enforcement investigation between the U.S. and the British government resulted in the dismantling of a large drug-smuggling ring. Tons of drugs were seized, and arrests were made. Navia, a man who walked a tightrope of criminality and legitimacy, was nabbed after operating in the drug underworld for 25 years. Of Cuban heritage, Navia had worked for Colombia's Medellín and Cali cartels and gradually transferred his skills in working with various cartels in Mexico. He met and sometimes worked with the biggest names in the infamous underground empire: Pablo Escobar, Alberto Sicilia Falcon, the Ochoa Brothers. As recalled to coauthor Fink, Pure Narco amasses Navia's colorful recollections of past exploits in a candid yet guarded fashion. Navia disarms with his charisma and intelligence; his remorse is a little less apparent. He believes that the war on drugs is a hypocritical war with no end. Navia's insights make for a revelatory look inside the treacherous world of organized crime in this new true-crime classic.
Pure Narco is an unbelievable insider’s look at the life and times of a real narco. During his 25-year criminal career, Luis Navia learned to work with all of the major Colombian cocaine manufacturing and distribution organizations, something not easily done, and miraculously survived to tell his tale. Navia and Jesse Fink provide a detailed and uncensored look at the underbelly of the beast, the international cocaine trade, and give an account that even most experienced law-enforcement professionals never see.
Intriguing and thought provoking. While there is no perfect formula when it comes to telling a life story...there can be an almost ideal result. A truly gripping and detailed account about a life lived on the edge. A must read.
The best insider account ever written of the global cocaine trade and the outrageous but precarious lives of those at the top.
I have never read anything like this. I’ve never read anything that drew me in like Pure Narco in this genre, certainly. It drew me in like a great novel.
Fascinating story. Pure Narco is quite an amazing book. It’s rare that you get someone who was involved in the illegal narcotics trade to talk so openly about their life and lifestyle. Luis Navia has stories for the fireside more than most.