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Cocaine Cowboys – The Rise of Miami in the 1970s and 1980s

July 16, 2007 by Lucas Lechuga

Tony Montana
I finally got a chance to watch the movie “Cocaine Cowboys” last night. I’ve been trying to rent it at Blockbuster for months but it was always checked out. I stumbled upon it on the Internet last night and watched every minute of it. For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, “Cocaine Cowboys”, it is a documentary that tells of the rise of Miami in the 1970s and 1980s. Much of the city’s growth during this time period was attributed to the heavy inflow of drug money, particularly through the distribution of cocaine.

The reason why I’m posting about this movie is because it has great footage of how the Miami and Miami Beach skylines have changed. I found it interesting to see how various neighborhoods looked and definitely learned a lot about Miami during those decades. In one shot, towards the end of the movie, found below, it shows an aerial view of Brickell Key with only one building on the entire island. That building was Brickell Key I which was built in 1982. The rest of the island was completely empty. With the future completion of Asia, the island of Brickell Key will be fully complete. There are rumors, however, that the Mandarin Oriental Hotel will build residences on the small plot of land just east of the hotel. If those rumors prove to be true, with the backing of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s name attached, that development will be one hot commodity.

The cranes at the foreground in the still below look to be from the development of the Wachovia Financial Center building which was completed in 1984. The building to the left is the Intercontinental Hotel. Until the rise of the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences in 2004, the Wachovia Financial Center building, standing at 55 stories, was the tallest building in Miami. For those of you not local to Miami, Brickell Key is the triangular-shaped island found in the background of the picture below.

Brickell Key then:

Brickell Key then

Brickell Key now:

Brickell Key now

If you’re a fan of the movie “Scarface” then you’ll definitely love “Cocaine Cowboys”. After viewing the Internet copy, I ordered the DVD on last night. It is the true-to-life representation of the events that inspired the making of “Scarface”. View it for yourself. The following is hosted on Google and was uploaded by someone unbeknownst to me.

Warning: The following movie is Rated-R due to pervasive drug content, language and violence. Watch it at your own risk!

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4 Comments on "Cocaine Cowboys – The Rise of Miami in the 1970s and 1980s"

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Say goodnight to the bad guy.

Lucas Lechuga

The last time you gonna see a bad guy like this again, let me tell you.


yo where u find the movie


that griselda blanco is off the chain, i really admire her even though she was selling drugs

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