Colonel Juan García Cortez, a retired colonel from an unspecified Central American nation, is an acquaintance of Ken Rosenberg. He helped set up the failed exchange that brought Tommy Vercetti to Vice City. Tommy continuously asks Cortez when he is getting reimbursed for the money he lost at the setup, but Cortez tells Tommy that he is "not in Liberty [City] anymore", and encourages him to take charge, which Tommy does. Cortez more or less strings Tommy along with payments for jobs he wants done, using Tommy's debt with the mob to make him work for Cortez. Nonetheless, Cortez is not unappreciative and behaves as such. The Colonel also ties together nearly all areas of criminal activity, including narcotics, firearms, weapons, and military secrets. When the French begin to pursue Colonel Cortez for their stolen "missile technology," he asks Tommy for help one more time flee Vice City for safer harbor with his extravagant yacht.
Recognizing that the Colonel is honorable (in his way), Tommy is happy to oblige and boards the yacht, fending off the French authorities alongside Cortez's crew. Once the boat is free of pursuers, Cortez graciously gives Tommy a speedboat as a parting gift, and asks him to look after his daughter Mercedes. The two men part on pleasant terms.
Cortez phones again following the game's final mission to wish Tommy well, and to ask about his daughter, whom he heard was studying law. Tommy tells him that he is mistaken, much to the Colonel's immense relief (he apparently was not aware that she was starring in porn instead).
Colonel Cortez hosts huge parties on his yacht for his beautiful daughter, Mercedes, and fellow crime bosses. He also enjoys dining on endangered species, which he considers a hallmark of fine living. He has managed to survive up to thirty coups in his native country, has been sentenced to death nine times (but always survived and receives a promotion), and has diplomatic immunity. Later, Cortez also expressed his disliking of the French (including the French secret service), claiming that they used to rob poor nations for centuries, but are now accusing Cortez of stealing. Cortez is also a widower.
Juan Cortez was voiced by Robert Davi.