Ed Calderon is surprised he didn’t die by the age of 30. That’s the fate that many Mexican law enforcement officers face. But Ed wasn’t just a cop; he worked for a special paramilitary police force that was created for the sole purpose of battling the drug cartels. Just being there meant he was being hunted by some of the most dangerous people in Mexico with no code of ethics.
He learned to use a knife as a kid, and guns, well… everyone had guns in Mexico in spite of the laws. A series of events in his childhood, profoundly marked by the loss of his brother, broke apart Ed’s family and left him rudderless. After working a bunch of odd jobs, Ed found an ad in the newspaper seeking single men without kids for a new special police force. He knew he had to join.
That’s when Ed found himself on the front lines of the Mexican cartel wars, seeing and experiencing things that would put most of us in a psychiatric institution. When fate eventually handed Ed a daughter, he reconsidered his career and made his way to America.
In this episode, Ed shares his journey from his hometown of Tijuana, one of the hottest battlefields in the cartel wars, to what he refers to as his “after party,” teaching others the means to their own survival. From hosting classroom seminars, to consulting on movies, to consulting with the military and Congress, Ed’s path to his after party is a wild and captivating ride.
Second Act Stories theme music: “Between 1 and 3 am” by Echoes