Godfather of Harlem season 3: Who is José Miguel Battle?

José Miguel Battle is played by Yul Vazquez in Godfather of Harlem (Image via Youtube)
José Miguel Battle is played by Yul Vazquez in Godfather of Harlem (Image via Youtube)

Season 3 Episode 2 of Godfather of Harlem introduced us to a new character called José Miguel Battle, portrayed by Cuban-American actor Yul Vazquez.

Joe Colombo was another new face introduced previously, and Jose Miguel Battle is shown to be an accomplice of Bumpy Johnson. Bumpy comes to Battle with a proposal to form an alliance and rule over Harlem again.

While this new mob boss seems composed and calculated in his thoughts and actions, his chain of illegal businesses is elaborate and even includes dealing with arms and weapons. But who was this man in real life, and what happened to him?

Godfather of Harlem's new character José Miguel Battle started as a policeman in Cuba.

In the upcoming episodes, it looks like José Miguel Battle's and Bumpy Johnson's partnership will regain control over Harlem. Still, the real story of this new mob boss is fascinating.

Jose Miguel Battle, who was infamously named El Padrino (The Godfather), kicked off his career as a vice cop in Havana, Cuba when Fulgencio Batista was still in power. After Fidel Castro overthrew Batista in 1959, Battle fled his native country for the USA.

The CIA hired him to fight against Cuba in the Battle of Pigs. When Castro emerged victorious, José Miguel Battle was imprisoned in his country for two years. After his release, he moved to New Jersey in the USA and began his illegal operations, most popularly a lottery racket called bolita.

His business grew swiftly, which saw him spread his wings to New York City. This team, now called "The Corporation," descended into the drug trafficking business and was now becoming widely feared. During the 1970s, the mob boss made $45 million a year with illegal businesses spread across New York, New Jersey, and Florida.

Too bad, the law caught up to him and in 1977, José Miguel Battle was convicted of murder conspiracy and solicitation by a Miami-Dade court. This was later overturned on appeal, but in 2004 he was again arrested by The US Department of State on various charges like contract killings, money laundering, illegal gambling, etc.

On January 2007, José Miguel Battle was sentenced to 20 years in prison but died in August 2007 at 77 while in federal custody.

What is Godfather of Harlem about?


Godfather of Harlem is an American crime drama TV series broadcasted on Epix. First aired on September 29, 2019, the show is currently in its third season. The show follows the life of 1960s New York City gangster Bumpy Johnson, who mainly operated in the city's Harlem neighborhood.

The official synopsis of the show's third season reads,

"Season Three finds Bumpy Johnson continuing to battle for control of Harlem with other aspirants to the throne, namely the Cuban Mafia from neighboring Spanish Harlem. "

It continues,

"Taking on the Cuban mob will put Bumpy, his loved ones, and his community in the crosshairs of not only the rival Italians, but ruthless Latin assassins and, ultimately, the CIA. 'Godfather of Harlem' is a collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement during one of the most tumultuous times in American history."

Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein created Godfather of Harlem. Its writers include Chris Brancato, Paul Eckstein, Moise Verneaux, and Michael Panes.

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Edited by Ashmita Bhatt
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