Laura Ardila’s controversial book “La Costa Nostra” is making waves in Colombia. It delves into Colombia’s mighty Char family and is a hit.
It sold over 10,000 copies and faced censorship before its release. The author is touring many cities, from the Venezuelan border to near Ecuador.
The Char family is as powerful as it gets on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Many say the Chars are the country’s most influential clan.
They own supermarkets, a radio station, and a soccer club. They hold sway in food, fun, construction, and medicine.
Their epicenter is the city of Barranquilla.
Fuad Char, the family’s head, has a long political history. He was a Governor, a Minister, and even an Ambassador.
His sons are also in politics. Alejandro has been a mayor twice. Arturo, his brother, faces legal issues now.
First, a big publisher turned the book down. They feared legal trouble.
Ardila wrote about this in a newspaper. Later, a smaller publisher, Rey Naranjo, accepted the book.
Now, it’s sold all over the country.
Ardila has looked into Caribbean politics for years. She found it hard to get close to the Char family.
She has faced more online attacks since her book came out. But some people, even near the Char family, praised her work.
The book is more than just facts. It has a gripping story, says Ardila. She left out some tough-to-prove details.
She also wants to show the human side of the Char family later.
Editing the book was a careful process. It went through legal checks. Even after a setback, it was published fast.
Now, it’s in its second print run. Ardila calls that a big success.
The Mighty Char Family
The Char family’s origins trace back to Syria and Lebanon. They’ve built their empire over generations.
Their influence isn’t new; it’s been growing for decades.
They first gained ground in retail, starting with Olímpica stores. Over time, they entered media with Olímpica Estéreo radio.
Fuad Char’s political career began in the ’80s. He served as Governor of Atlántico in 1984.
Later, he became the Minister of Economic Development. His global reach expanded when he was Ambassador to Portugal in 2008.
His time in the Senate spanned many years, from 1990 to 2014.
His son Alejandro is no stranger to leadership. He’s been Barranquilla’s mayor twice.
His older brother, Arturo, led Congress from 2020 to 2021. But his political journey has hit a wall.
He faces legal action over alleged vote-buying and corruption.
Laura Ardila, the author, began her investigation in 2015. She moved to Barranquilla to cover this political clan.
Initially, she had better access to information. But as she dug deeper, doors started to close.
Her only interview with Arturo Char was back in 2016.
The book, “La Costa Nostra,” doesn’t just expose facts. It tells a compelling story about power and influence.
This in-depth look gives a new perspective on how one family can shape a region. Despite challenges and threats, Ardila remains committed to revealing the truth.
Her book serves as a deep dive into the Caribbean politics of Colombia.