A Day with the Chess Player

In a nine-hour session at a secret location, the alleged patriarch of Colombia's Cali cartel talks for the first time about his battle with Washington and why he thinks drug lord Pablo Escobar wants h

The phone call came at 8 a.m. "Don't eat breakfast," advised Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela. "I'm planning a big lunch for you so we can get to know each other."

Thus began a nine-hour public relations blitz by the man who allegedly serves as a patriarch of the Cali cartel. Rodriguez consented to see reporter Tom Quinn and me -- "the first and only interview I've given in my 52 years" -- in order to clarify what he insists are lies about his involvement in cocaine trafficking. Along the way he tried to raise doubts about the motivations of two enemies --...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!