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For other uses, see Juan (disambiguation).

Oh, hey! You’re not on the mainland now, huh? It’s my rules... Anything goes!
— El Rubio welcoming Keinemusik, Dave and the GTA Online Protagonist to Cayo Perico

Juan Strickler, also known as El Rubio, is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who appears in Grand Theft Auto Online as the main antagonist in The Cayo Perico Heist update.


He is considered the world's most notorious narcotrafficker, who owns the island of Cayo Perico, one of the most secure private islands in the entire world, and uses it as the nerve center of his drug empire. He was also involved in turf wars and the disappearance of reporters, and is also supplier to the Madrazo Cartel. In Heist Prep: Gather Intel, El Rubio mentions that his grandfather ("Opa") was German.

The storage rooms and office in his compound contain many photographs on the walls showing him engaged in various activities, including:

Stock images of Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay and character models are reused in-game as vintage photographs of Strickler's possible ancestors in a form of Easter egg, including a reused character model of Andreas representing an unnamed relative of Strickler.

Events of Grand Theft Auto Online[]

Los Santos Summer Special[]

El Rubio was first mentioned at the end of the Los Santos Summer Special update, in a 10-second teaser for The Cayo Perico Heist update entitled "surveil.exe", which consisted of a digital surveillance file entitled the El Rubio Dossier. The 10-second teaser concluded with a view of the corpse of a John Doe on Vespucci Beach with the notation his last known visual contact was at LSIA and that his known affiliations include El Rubio.

The Cayo Perico Heist[]

Main article: The Cayo Perico Heist

Strickler is introduced by name when the player meets Miguel Madrazo at The Music Locker in 2020. Miguel claims he somehow managed to get hold of "decades' worth of intel" which he was threatening to take to the DEA unless the cartel renegotiate their drug supply prices.

Strickler is seen greeting the player, English Dave, and Keinemusik when they arrive at the island's airfield. After a short talk, the player is required to drive him and English Dave to the party, where he gets Scott Storch to read a pre-written sycophantic introduction speech before introducing Keinemusik to take over the DJ position. Later, while scoping out the island, the player witnesses Strickler ordering his guards to execute Gustavo for embarrassing him in front of his guests, by feeding him to his black panther. If the player returns to continue scoping out the island, Strickler can be found dancing in his seat at the beach party.

During the heist itself, Strickler resides in his secure compound and can be heard over the loudspeaker system berating his guards. Once he realized that his vault has been robbed, he mans the minigun of his Valkyrie MOD.0 to hunt for and attack the player. He will continuously taunt and insult the online protagonist via loudspeaker until they manage to escape the island. After the protagonist successfully retrieves the Madrazo files during the initial heist, Miguel remains in contact with Pavel and continues supplying information on Strickler's shipments and securities, allowing the protagonist to keep robbing Cayo Perico as they please.

How do they keep doing this to me, huh?! One of you imbeciles must know something... Don't be afraid, you can come and tell me.
— Juan Strickler to his guards.

During the subsequent heist playthroughs, Strickler can be heard ranting over the loudspeaker about being robbed, at one point implying that he had the majority of his original guards killed for their failure in stopping the players, and later confirmed by Pavel on phone messages after completing a heist replay, as he witnessed the murders on satellite images of the island. During these rants, he claims that he thinks one of his guards helped the robbers.[4]

The Contract[]

Hey, do you know some crazy ass Russian dude? Some guy got passed through my office talking about some caviars and submarines and shit. Said he knew you, something about wanting to take another trip to the Caribbean.
Franklin Clinton to the GTA Online Protagonist about Pavel's visit.

While El Rubio doesn't physically appear in The Contract update, it's mentioned that Pavel has visited Franklin Clinton's Agency (offscreen) in 2021, looking for the GTA Online Protagonist, and asking when the protagonist is going to take "another trip to the Caribbean", confirming they are still occasionally robbing El Rubio's Compound to this date.


Paranoid? Hahaha... you motherfuckers. How many times have we been robbed? Huh? Who's paranoid now?
— Juan Strickler to his guards.

When in public, Strickler presents himself as a fun and generous philanthropist and attempts to maintain a good image. However, when alone, he is revealed to be vicious and ruthless. During The Cayo Perico Heist, he can be heard threatening his guards over the speakers on the island, oftentimes for minor things. Because of his brutality, he can be a very intimidating man, as seen during his conversation with Scott Storch.

Due to the countless robberies in his compound since 2020, Strickler has become extremely paranoid, and it has gotten to the point where he has stopped trusting his own employees and security guards, constantly ranting about their failure in stopping the players, and killing his own employees after suspecting they were helping the players rob him.

Characters Murdered by Juan Strickler[]

  • Unidentified heist crew - Killed by Strickler or his private militia at some point before 2020, after successfully robbing his island. Tracked down six months after the robbery through their weapons, and their body parts were fed to Strickler's panther.
  • Unidentified journalists - Killed by Strickler or his private militia at some point before 2020.
  • Gustavo - Fed alive to Strickler's panther for embarrassing him in front of his party guests.
  • Several of his own guards and employees - Killed by Strickler after each heist playthrough, after suspecting they were helping the players rob his island.[5]

Mission Appearances[]

Grand Theft Auto Online[]



El Rubio's character background appears to be inspired by Carlos Lehder, due to his German ancestry and Colombian nationality and the linguistic combination of Spanish and German in his name, and owning a private island which serves as a drug-smuggling operation headquarters and party island.

His character and voice is similar to Scarface film protagonist Tony Montana, portrayed by Al Pacino; both characters are obsessed with wild cats (and both have one as pets) and valuable antiques (as shown in Scarface: The World Is Yours video game).

He also bears some resemblance to the late John McAfee, founder of McAfee Corporation, who has been the subject of paranoiac behavior and legal troubles over drug manufacturing, weapon possession, and murder during his residency in Belize in the early-2010s.

The literal translation of "El Rubio" is "The Blonde" in Spanish. His other nickname, "The Blond Colombian", also alludes to this.



  1. A picture of him with Simeon at Premium Deluxe Motorsport can be found on his office.
  2. A picture of him standing outside of the Epsilon Program building can be seen in a storage room.
  3. Joseph Melendez on Instagram
  4. Now remember. Until it's proved otherwise, I'm going to assume every guard in this island is a spy
    — Juan Strickler to his guards.
  5. Do NOT fail me again. Do not... Please... I'm so fucking bored of executing employees!
    — Juan Strickler to his guards.


[ ve ]Characters in Grand Theft Auto Online
ProtagonistOnline Player
Original version updates
(PS3 and Xbox 360)
Main charactersLamar Davis | Gerald | Simeon Yetarian | Ron Jakowski | Trevor Philips | Lester Crest | Martin Madrazo
Minor charactersAnna | Big T | Brucie Kibbutz | Chantelle | Chef | Cris Formage | Daily Globe Editor | Dom Beasley | Donna | El Estupido | Garage Mechanic | Gustavo | Hao | JT Boyd | Janet | Jolene Cranley-Evans | Joyrider | Juan | Leroy | Little T | Madrazo Witness | Melvin | Mugger | Mushroom Hank | Raul | Small F | Stanley | The Boss (Families) | The Boss (Professionals) | The Boss (Marabunta Grande) | District Attorney | The Madrazo Trial Judge | Vasquez | Chastity | Cheetah | Fufu | Infernus | Juliet | Nikki | Peach | Sapphire | Ponsonbys Manager | Merryweather Helicopter Pilot | Merryweather Boat Driver | Vagos Gang Leader
Radio station characters
Radio hostsBig Boy | Bootsy Collins | Cara Delevingne | Camilo Lara | Don Cheto | DJ Pooh | Gilles Peterson | Flying Lotus | Jesco White | Keith Morris | Kenny Loggins | Mama G | Lee "Scratch" Perry | Nate Williams | Stephen Pope | Soulwax / 2manydjs | Twin Shadow | Chermical Bro | Doctor No
Radio guestsMNDR | Eddie | Earl Sweatshirt | Aloe Blacc | Tunde Adebimpe | MC Eiht | Jermaine Renegade | King Avriel
Talk Show hosts
(& assistants)
Michele Makes | Lazlow Jones | Fernando Martinez | Jo | Ron Jakowski | Duane Earl | Bobby June | Ray De Angelo Harris | Cheryl Fawkes
Talk Show guestsSue Murry | Ricky | Jock Cranley | Samantha Muldoon | Brother Adrian
TV Show characters
TV Show hosts
(& assistants)
Lazlow Jones | Hugh Harrison | Anita Mendoza | Imran Shinowa | Steve Haines | Rufus Bellows | Jack Howitzer | Ho Chi Sock
TV Show guestsWilliam Angio | Tracey De Santa
Movie characters
ActorsMilton McIlroy | John Cohn | Theodore Bickford | Charlie Fleming | Chippy | Leo Hornstein
Main charactersLester Crest | Agent 14 | Karen Daniels | Trevor Philips | Ron Jakowski
Minor charactersMaxim Rashkovsky | Josh Sherman | Gavin Van Der Loop | Dima Popov | Avi Schwartzman | Eddie Toh | Gusset | Paige Harris | Phil | Navy Officer
Radio DJsCliff Lane | Andee
Main charactersLamar Davis | Gerald
Minor charactersBenny | Vernon | Mateo Brothers | Little Al | Edgar Carlos | Jose Carlos | Pedro Carlos | Janet | Unnamed Korean buyer | Wallis
Executives and
Other Criminals
Brendan Darcy | Yacht Bartender
Further Adventures
in Finance and
Executive Assistant
Main charactersLJT | Malc
Minor charactersAl Carter | Sindy | Zach Nelson
Import/ExportExecutive Assistant | Office Mechanic | Unnamed Street Race Owner | Warehouse Mechanic
Main charactersAgent 14
Minor charactersChester McCoy | Rogue Agent
Smuggler's Run
Main charactersRon Jakowski
Minor charactersCharlie Reed
Radio guestsSophia Bowles-Carmichael
The Doomsday Heist
Main charactersLester Crest | Agent 14 | Phoenicia Rackman | Avon Hertz | Cliffford
Minor charactersBogdan | Agent ULP | Chester McCoy | Facility Receptionist
Radio DJsFrank Ocean
After Hours
Main charactersTony Prince | Lazlow Jones | English Dave | Paige Harris
Minor charactersArt Student | Buyer's Associate | Connie | Daniel Schoeps | Jewelry Store Clerk | Jimmy Boston | Kerry McIntosh | Lacey Jonas | Maude Eccles | Miranda Cowan | Poppy Mitchell | Simeon Yetarian | The Lost Girl | Tyler Dixon | Yohan Blair
Residency/Radio DJsSolomun | Dixon | Tale Of Us | The Black Madonna | Donna Frank
DJ FriendsDaniel Schoeps | Jakob Grunert | Fotios Karamanidis | DJ RobT | DJ Mike | Dixon's Manager | Aurelia S. Ortiz | Ignazio | Rupert Murray | Ryan Hambsch | Ryan Smith
Arena War
Main charactersAlan Jerome | Bryony
Minor charactersJock Cranley | Violet Jordan | Sacha Yetarian | Peter
Premium Deluxe Repo WorkSimeon Yetarian
The Diamond
Casino & Resort
Main charactersAgatha Baker | Avery Duggan | Brucie Kibbutz | Tao Cheng | Tao Cheng's Translator | Thornton Duggan | Tom Connors | Vincent Effenburger
Minor charactersDebbie | Josephine | Felipe | Gabriel | Vince | Blane | Curtis | Caleb | Beth | Eileen | Ushi | Lauren | Taylor | Carol | Dean | Corrupt Judge
The Diamond
Casino Heist
Main charactersLester Crest | Georgina Cheng | Huang
Minor charactersJimmy De Santa | Wendy | Zhao | Pansy | Agatha Baker | Tom Connors | Vincent Effenburger | Brucie Kibbutz | Yung Ancestor | Debbie | Josephine | Felipe | Casino Vault Guard | Los Santos Slasher
Heist Crew MembersAvi Schwartzman | Charlie Reed | Christian Feltz | Chester McCoy | Eddie Toh | Gustavo Mota | Karl Abolaji | Karim Denz | Paige Harris | Patrick McReary | Rickie Lukens | Taliana Martinez | Yohan Blair | Zach Nelson
Last Play
Gerald | The Boss (Marabunta Grande) | The Boss (Los Santos Triads)
Radio DJsDanny Brown | Skepta
Los Santos Summer Special
Main charactersBrendan Darcy
Minor charactersSolomon Richards | The Boss (Kkangpae) | Tom Connors | Yacht Bartender | John Doe
The Cayo Perico Heist
Main charactersMiguel Madrazo | Juan Strickler | English Dave | Pavel
Minor charactersPatricia Madrazo | Jackie | Kaylee | Enrique | Jorge | Josephine | Gustavo | Tom Connors | VIP Charter Jets Pilot | Beach Party Coordinator | Head of Cayo Perico Security | Pernell Moss | Evan | Unnamed Party Girl | Unnamed Party Girl's Friend | Sleeping Guard
Heist Crew MembersCharlie Reed | Viktor Sokolov | Rooster McCraw | Paige Harris | Unnamed heist crew member (heavy weapons supply drop) | Unnamed heist crew member (weapon stash)
Residency DJsMoodymann | Palms Trax | Keinemusik
Celebrity cameosDJ Pooh | Dr. Dre | Jimmy Iovine | Scott Storch
Radio DJsJoy Orbison | Julian Casablancas | Zachary | Mac DeMarco | Tony Mac | Tierra Whack
Los Santos Tuners
Main charactersSessanta | Kenny "KDJ" Dixon Jr. | Mimi | Hao
Minor charactersLil' Dee | Race Organizer | LSCM Tattooist | Benny | Corrupt IAA Agent | Crystal Vape Dealer | Jorge | Corrupt Union Depository Businessman | Union Depository Bank Manager
Contract ClientsAvi Schwartzman | Miguel Madrazo | Unnamed Korean client | Unnamed Armenian client | Chef | Unnamed FIB client
The Contract
Main charactersFranklin Clinton | Lamar Davis | Imani | Dr. Dre | Chop | Johnny Guns
Minor charactersDJ Pooh | Anderson .Paak | Jimmy Iovine | Lola Romero | Requisitions Officer | Agency Security Guard | Agency Receptionist | Agency Mechanic | Agency SUV Driver |Vernon | P | Eugene | Raymond | Club Promoter | Ben Brooks | Ben Brooks' Lawyer | North Side Vagos leader | Harvey Molina | Jimmy Boston | Marnie Allen | The Arms Dealer | The bitterSweet Cofounder | The Gold Coast Development CEO | The Importer | The Judge | The Lawyer | The Protected Person | The Tech Entrepreneur | The Trendy Millionaire | Unnamed Party Girl | Vagos Driver
Radio DJsROSALÍA | Arca
Radio guestsSnoop Dogg | Ice Cube | Mr. Fingers | Caroline Polachek | Daddy Yankee | Aventura
The Criminal Enterprises
Main charactersAgent ULP | Mason Duggan | Agent 14 | Executive Assistant | Tony Prince | Malc
Minor charactersAgent Johnson | Lupe | Warehouse Staff | Yohan Blair | Marcel | Zach Nelson | Sindy | Simeon Yetarian | Lamar Davis | Omega
Los Santos Drug Wars
Main charactersDax | Labrat | Mutt | Luchadora | Isiah Friedlander | Ron Jakowski
Minor charactersAmeer | Chef | Gerald | Gun Van Seller | Haylee | Hippy Boss | Jesse | Joscha | Street Dealers | Tiana
San Andreas Mercenaries
Main charactersCharlie Reed | Rooster McCraw | Pernell Moss | Avi Schwartzman
Minor charactersRon Jakowski | Fort Zancudo Colonel | Lloyd | Armored Gunner | Unnamed Smuggler | Unnamed Weazel News Journalist | LJT | Agent 14 | Mutt | Ghosts | Johnny Klebitz
The Chop Shop
Main charactersYusuf Amir | Jamal Amir | Vincent Effenburger
Minor charactersSalvage Yard Staff | King Tiny | Hao | La'oub Princess Air Support Pilot | La'oub Princess Captain | Skylift Pilot | Felipe | Casino Vault Guard | Tony McTony's Head of Security | Ahron Ward | Jimmy De Santa | Jorge | Jaywalker | DJ Pooh | Tanner | Yeti
Even the Score Mixtape
GuestsSnoop Dogg | Franklin Clinton | Lamar Davis
Bottom Dollar Bounties
Main charactersJenette Eccles | Maude Eccles | Vincent Effenburger | Martin Madrazo
Minor charactersMurph | Bail Office Staff | Jorge | Unnamed Armenian Loan Shark
Bail Jumpers
Most Wanted BountiesGrace Whitney | Chaz Lieberman | Leroy O'Neil | Brock Thompson | Cleo Song | Omar Garcia
Standard BountiesAngel Kenney | Beau Duggan | Bill Duggan | Brigitte Foster | Colby Wright | Cook Kenzie | Hunter Duggan | India Wood | Jalen Kennedy | LJ Ha | Lil Prince | Marquel Green | Ricky Ji | Rylee Rose | Sabrina Gray | Serenity Pierce | Tommy Lim | Xavier Fremond
Other charactersZombies | Ludendorff Cop | Dom Beasley
Mentioned charactersAbdul Amir | Anna | Ashley Butler | Al Di Napoli | Cloe Parker | Devin Weston | Denise Clinton | DJ Playlist | Don Percival | Elwood O'Neil | Esteban Jimenez | Jay Norris | Joe Lawton | Keith Collins | Kyle Chavis | Leo | Luis Fernando Lopez | Mark Fostenburg | MC Clip | Michael De Santa | Molly Schultz | Mr. Cheng | Nonna | Niko Bellic | Perlie | Ronnie Bonelli | Samantha Muldoon | Sergei | Tanisha Clinton | Terry Thorpe | Tony McTony | Tonya Wiggins | "Uncle" Amir | Vlad | Vasily | Vasily (Russian Navy) | Wade Hebert
Non-canon charactersSpecial Dad (John Marston | Claude | Niko Bellic (as a Dad)) | Special Mom (Misty)
Cut charactersHarold "Stretch" Joseph | Melvin Andrews | Joseph Whites | Jaywalker
† denotes Deceased, Italics denotes a status determined by the player's choice