Juan Cortez

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Juan Garcia Cortez
Appearances GTA Vice City
GTA Vice City Stories
Full Name Juan Garcia Cortez
Aliases Colonel Cortez


Gender Gender::Male
Home Yacht (previously docked in Ocean Beach/Viceport, Vice City)
Family Unnamed wife (deceased)
Mercedes Cortez (daughter)
Main Affiliations Cortez Crew
Cortez' Maid
Ricardo Diaz
Diaz' Gang
Ken Rosenberg
Lance Vance
Victor Vance
Tommy Vercetti
Vehicles Yacht
Voiced by Robert Davi

Colonel Juan Garcia Cortez, also known as Colonel Cortez or simply, Cortez, is a character in the 3D Universe who appears as a main character in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (set in 1986) and is mentioned in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (set in 1984). He is the head of the Cortez Crew and is a retired army colonel from an unknown Central American country, and is the father of Mercedes Cortez. He is voiced by Robert Davi.

Character history

Early life

Juan Cortez was born in an unnamed Central American country and during his time in his home country survived thirty coups and nine death sentences, always managing to survive and get promoted. Cortez has a disliking of the French and accuses them of hypocrisy for stealing from poor nations for centuries while they accuse him of being a thief for stealing their missile chips. Cortez also married an unnamed woman before having a daughter, Mercedes. By 1986, his wife had died.

At some point he became heavily involved in the narcotics trade, eventually deciding to move to Vice City. Cortez, however, first sends his right-hand man Gonzalez, who establishes a place for Cortez in the city, although Gonzalez continues to steal some of Cortez' drugs to sell for a side profit. Ricardo Diaz, another newly arrived drug dealer who has plans on becoming the cities drug baron, discovers Gonzalez' treachery and threatens to kill him if he does not begin to tell Diaz about Cortez' future drug deals in the city.

Moving to Vice City

By 1986 Cortez moved to Vice City and established himself in the city, often throwing parties on his yacht, with the cities most prominent people attending, including Congressman Alex Shrub, retired football star BJ Smith, rock star Jezz Torrent, drug baron Ricardo Diaz, and real estate mogul Avery Carrington. Cortez, officially, resides in the city as a cultural attaché and thus has diplomatic immunity, although the Vice City Police Department still bugs his home. He helps Ken Rosenberg to establish a drugs trade between the Liberty City based Forelli Family, represented by Tommy Vercetti, Harry, and Lee; and the Vance Crime Family, represented by both Lance and Victor Vance. The deal, however, is ambushed by Ricardo Diaz' hitmen.

Tommy Vercetti later attended one of Cortez' parties under the orders of Ken Rosenberg and Cortez agreed to look into the ambushed drug deal, later informing Vercetti that Gonzalez had been talking about the deal and sends Vercetti to kill him with a chainsaw. He continues to look into the ambushed deal and later confirms his suspicions that Diaz was involved, informing Vercetti. Whilst looking into the ambushed deal, Cortez has Tommy steal missile technology chips from Pierre La Ponce that the French government had wanted and has Tommy protect Diaz in a drug deal with the Cubans while fighting Haitians, allowing Tommy to become friends with Diaz and infiltrate his operation.

Cortez allows Tommy to work for Diaz and openly suggests that he may have been involved in the ambushed deal, but refuses to accuse him because Diaz is a 'dangerous man'. Later, however, Cortez does phone Tommy and asks him to steal a tank from soldiers moving it through the town to an unknown military garage in Viceport. Tommy steals the tank and continues to work for Diaz, eventually killing him and taking over his empire. Cortez, however, would phone Tommy once again to request his help in fleeing Vice City, as French government agents are going to try to get their technology back. Tommy helps Cortez escape to safer waters and is given a boat to go back to shore, with Cortez asking Tommy to take care of his daughter, Mercedes. Cortez phones Tommy from an unknown location, after a major gun battle at the Vercetti Estate to ask about rumors that Mercedes was studying law, which, to his relief, turn out to be rumors. Cortez seems, however, to be unaware of Mercedes role in a film starring Candy Suxxx.

Mission appearances

GTA Vice City

VCBI record

Colonel Juan Garcia Cortez has a record in the Vice City Bureau of Investigation.[1]:

  • Believed to facilitate trade in all areas of criminal activity, including, but not limited to, narcotics, firearms, weapons, and military secrets.
  • In own country, has been sentenced to death 9 times, but always survives and gets promoted.
  • Cultural Attaché.
  • Has diplomatic immunity - bear this in mind when bugging his house.
  • Has somehow survived up to 30 coups in his native country.
  • Likes to eat endangered species. Considers this to be fine living.
  • Lives with daughter. Widower.
  • Long term dislike for French secret service.

Murder committed


  • Juan Cortez enjoys eating endangered species, including tapia snout, considering it a hallmark of fine living.
  • Juan Cortez is a parody of Manuel Noriega, the former military dictator of Panama, who was also a major drug trafficker during the 1980s. Robert Davi, who voiced Cortez, also parodies Noriega in the James Bond film Licence to Kill.
  • A phone conversation between Cortez and Tommy, that was deleted from the final game, states that Cortez has returned to his home country and had been involved in three revolutions, being promoted each time. The canonicity of this, however, is unknown.


  1. Vice City Crime Tree. Rockstar Games. official GTA Vice City website