M-19 was a small group, without a lot of influence, not much money, and more a pest to the government than a real threat. But they were a pain in the rear to the drug traffickers because they would kidnap their children for ransom. Escobar retaliated by creating death squads that brutally killed known M-19 members. As to be expected, a truce between the traffickers and M-19 quickly occurred.
M-19 and the CIA formed an alliance because the enemy of my enemy is my friend. It’s the shadowy way of intelligence, cutting your losses in case something goes wrong. Since he was now living in Medellin, Jerry knew about M-19. He also knew about the CIA. He had made a good impression on the cartel leaders, including Escobar, because he ran an efficient operation and had proved to be an excellent pilot. To drug smugglers, pilots were gold.
One day he was approached by a man identifying himself as a representative of M-19. He made it clear that he had been given approval to talk to Jerry. He wanted to make an offer. If Jerry would fly cocaine from Medellin to Europe and return with heroin, he would be paid $20,000,000 a trip. Jerry was astounded. The man assured Jerry that full protection would be provided. He discussed this with Humberto Herrera, his Medellin cartel contact, and was told it was okay with the cartel. However, it would require Jerry to purchase something similar to a Lear jet so he could fly the long distance without refueling.
Jerry thought about it, weighing the pros and cons, before rejecting the offer. He simply didn’t want to be tied to a political organization.
To understand his decision, you need to understand his concept of these organizations, whether it was the CIA, M-19 or others. (You also need to know he was already getting $2,000,000 a flight to smuggle cocaine.) To him, after what he had witnessed, they were capable of extreme violence and betrayal. The CIA, DEA, Customs---he was certain that all were involved in the drug trade. He had seen CIA operatives with cartel leaders and had heard stories about others. And he understood violence. He never went anywhere in Medellin without at least two bodyguards and his home was heavily guarded. So, he thought it was for his best interest if he remained above the political fray.
I know that many who read this think it’s a reach to imagine our government involved in drugs, but I’ve talked to many people, read an abundance of material, much which was presented to Congress, and have concluded that where so much smoke occurs there is probably some fire. Jerry swears he’s is telling the truth about his contacts, and I know of no reason for him to lie, so there is that to consider.
For your consideration I’ve included a summation of a long story about Barry Seal. This has nothing to do with Jerry except it came up as part of my investigation into the CIA’s involvement with drugs. Seal, an accomplished pilot, worked for the Medellin Cartel in the early 1980s until he was caught. In an attempt to avoid prison, he convinced the Vice President’s drug task force to allow him to operate as a high level informant against the Medellin Cartel. His cooperation led to several arrests. Later, he was asked if he feared retribution from the Colombians and his reply was that his greatest fear was from high level officials in the United States, including one top official in the CIA.
He was later murdered outside his hotel. According to several sources, his widow, Debbie Seal, received a $29 million dollar jeopardy assessment from the Internal Revenue Service. It has been claimed that this was a strategy to keep her from talking to reporters. While defending herself from the IRS charge, she discovered a frequently-called phone number in Barry's records. When she dialed it she discovered it belonged to the Defense Intelligence Agency. She was told to "never call it again". Later that day, the DIA phoned her back. "Debbie, you're young, you have a whole life ahead of you, and you have your kids to think about... Don't call anyone in Washington again."