Manolo Cardona stars in the new movie “El Cartel de los Sapos” or “The Snitch Cartel,” a true life story of drugs, money, women and law enforcement. The story, which is based on a book, became recognized after it was made into a TV series seen in Latin America and the U.S.
"It has been an amazing journey, especially in the movie," Cardona said. "The movie is totally reloaded."
Cardona stars as the lead actor in the movie, filmed in more than nine cities in Colombia, Mexico and the U.S.
Cardona’s character, Martin Gonzalez, is a poor teenage working-class boy that falls in love with Sofia, a beautiful and unattainable middle class girl.
But to get her attention, Gonzalez starts trafficking drugs and building his way up the latter of the “The North Valley Cartel,” one of Colombia’s most powerful and dangerous drug cartels that grew after the death of Pablo Escobar.
“It’s a beautiful love story in this gangster world,” Cardona said.
After his success in the cartel, Gonzalez sees an opportunity to escape the drug scene, be safe with Sofia and begin a new life while working as a snitch for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
“The people are going to watch what they couldn’t watch in the small screen series,” Cardona said. “Now here you are going see a different story, you are going to see it all.”
The movie uses both English and Spanish, each character speaking in its native version.
“We really wanted to make the characters speak as they speak,” Cardona said. "The Americans speak English and the Colombians and the Mexicans speak Spanish. When they interchange they speak bilingual."
Cardona has also stared on various TV shows in the U.S. and said he feels comfortable acting in both languages.
"I am trying to improve everyday my English and my Portuguese," he said. "I am trying to work in whatever language it is."
Cardona said he hopes to be as successful in the U.S. as recent bilingual movies.
"I hope people support the Latinos," he said.
The movie will be out in select South Florida theaters Friday.