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These idiots, they're always trying to screw you. That's the problem with this business. [...] These pricks have failed me miserably. Soon any mom and pop will think they can sell gallo in Vice City.
— Ricardo Diaz to Tommy Vercetti in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Life is amazing. Look at me. I got porn. I got drugs. I got money. I'm happy.
— Ricardo Diaz to Victor Vance in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Ricardo Diaz is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who appears as a main character and the tertiary antagonist in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and a main character in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

Diaz is the leader of his own drug cartel and, by 1986, is the drug baron of Vice City.



Ricardo Diaz was born in Colombia and moved to the United States in 1978, bribing the INS for a green card, before moving to Vice City in the early 1980s. [1]

Events of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Ricardo Diaz in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

Diaz invests money into a mansion on the expensive Starfish Island and, whilst his home is partially built, meets and befriends Lance and Victor Vance. He has them steal a drugs shipment of Juan Cortez, under the supervision of Gonzalez, which Vic does successfully. Following his success, Diaz decides to employ Vic more work and has him go to a meeting with the DEA, which is ambushed by Gonzalez and his crew, although Vic manages to kill Gonzalez' men and make the deal with the DEA, securing Diaz gets a large supply of heavy duty guns. Diaz becomes aware that Gonzalez has betrayed Colonel Juan Cortez and explains to Gonzalez that he will inform him of all of Cortez' drug deals, with Diaz ordering Victor to drive Gonzalez to the airport.

Lance Vance then borrows money from Diaz and has his brother work to repay the debt, with Diaz having Vic destroy Armando Mendez' bearer bonds using a Domestobot, before having him steal an attack helicopter from the Fort Baxter Air Base in order to attack the Mendez Compound in Downtown, Vice City. Having been successful in stealing the helicopter, Vic attacks the Mendez Compound on Diaz' orders and kills both Diego Mendez and Jerry Martinez. Following this, Vic and Lance decide to leave Vice City.

Events of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Sometime in between 1984 and 1986, Diaz establishes himself as the drug baron of Vice City and finishes the building of his mansion. His drug habit continues and he has become far more paranoid. Diaz sets up a number of foundations across Vice City and Latin America, although the Vice City Police Department believe them to be a front, whilst they also suspect him of eighteen murders. Diaz has also established a protection racket in the city. Diaz, continuing to use information from Gonzalez, has a drug deal between the Forelli Family and the Vance Crime Family ambushed, stealing both the drugs and money. Victor Vance and two members of the Forelli Family, Harry and Lee, are killed during the ambush, while the others escape alive.

He later appears at one of Juan Cortez' parties, which was also attended by Forelli representative Tommy Vercetti. Cortez begins to investigate the deal and discovers Gonzalez' involvement and has him killed. Cortez openly suggests that Diaz may have been involved, but does not accuse him.

Cortez employs Vercetti and Lance Vance to protect him in a deal with the Cubans from Haitians, which results in Diaz hiring the two for other jobs. Diaz first has the two deal with the Streetwannabe's, who have been stealing three percent of his profits, first following a gang member to an abandoned home and then attacking the home, killing a number of the gangs members. Later, Diaz has to steal the fastest boat in the city and then use the boat to purchase drugs from a dealer, before escaping the other potential buyers.


I trusted you, Tommy! I would have had you made...
— Ricardo Diaz, seconds before his death.

Lance eventually decides to avenge his brother's death and kill Diaz, but his plan backfires. Despite this, Tommy rescues him at the Junkyard, with Lance severely injured due to being tortured by the cartel. The two of them later assault Diaz' mansion, killing all of his men and Diaz himself.


Concept art on the Rockstar North's website shows that the working name for Ricardo Diaz was "Fernando Diaz".

The 1983 film Scarface may also be an influence of Ricardo Diaz' character, Frank Lopez seems to be his main inspiration. Diaz' mansion is similar to Montana's, whilst Diaz wears exactly the same clothes as Montana during the drug deal and famous chainsaw torture scene. Diaz' actions in scuttling the Forelli-Vance drug transaction and his men's torture of Lance is similar to how Frank betrayed Montana, additionally, the way Tommy and Lance kill Diaz and take his empire is similar to how Manny Ribera kills Frank for Tony and Tony takes Frank's empire.

Another likely inspiration is the character "El Gato" from the 80s TV Show Miami Vice. Like Diaz he is of short stature and frequently loses his temper. He also uses a Magnum revolver as his weapon of choice.

Mission Appearances

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Murders committed by Ricardo Diaz

  • Unnamed brother - During "Domo Arigato Domestoboto", Diaz implies that he killed his own brother. The reason is not stated, though it is implied to be debt-related.
  • The VCBI also believe Diaz is responsible for 18 murders.

VCBI Crime Tree Record

Extremely dangerous. Bribed INS for Green card in 1978. Entered country from Colombia.

  • Extremely dangerous.
  • Bribed INS for Green card in 1978. Entered country from Colombia.
  • Contacts in Colombia believe he is major player in narcotics industry and anti-government activity.
  • Extremely popular philanthropist. Gives to various Ricardo Diaz foundations across Vice City and Central and South America. All are believed to be a front.
  • Short in size, is believed to suffer from Napoleon complex.
  • Medical records show he has over-active glands and sweats more than is socially acceptable.
  • Gun collector. Always armed.
  • Has private army/militia and is heavily guarded at all times.
  • Has been involved in long running battle for control of narcotics business in Vice City.
  • Known to have bribed police and officials within the town.
  • Feared due to reputation for unpredictable behavior.
  • Thought to be responsible for 18 murders.

The FBI, the DEA, these Vice chumps... They all ask the same thing. "What do you know about this Ricardo? What do you know about that?". I'm telling you, I don't know a damn thing. Ask my lawyer. Ask my damn lawyer! He'll tell you. What do you gonna do? Do you want me to sue you for defamation? Is that what you want?
— Ricardo Diaz





  • Diaz is on the cover of "Crime" Magazine as the "Man of the Year, 1986" award (Can be best seen in PC version with resolution turned on max. It's in Ocean Beach save location. On the coffee table. Appears later on in the game. Use the sniper scope). This is an obvious spoof of Time Magazine and its "Man of the Year" Award.
  • He may possibly be based on Miguel Revilla from the Miami Vice episode "The Prodigal Son" who is also played by Luis Guzman. He takes out opposing gangs to assert his dominance in the Drug Trade, much like Diaz in Vice City.
  • A running gag in the opening cutscenes of the missions that Tommy performs for him depicts him losing his temper causing him to either shoot his gun or destroy various objects:
    • Knocking his TV to the floor when the horse that he bet on lost, threatening to have its head chopped off (The Chase).
    • While walking down the stairs of his mansion and talking to someone on the other line on his phone, he asks that person "What Kind of an incompetent fool are you?" then shouts Fool four times in succession, subsequently throwing his phone to the ground and destroying it after saying "Fool" for the fourth time. While talking to Tommy and still irate, he throws a vase to the floor (Phnom Penh '86).
    • Shooting a Pigeon with a shotgun for defecating on his Admiral and then saying "not so pleased with yourself now, huh" and then laughs. Tommy can be seen standing behind him telling him to watch where he is waving his gun. At the end of the cutscene, he shoots another bird twice (The Fastest Boat).
    • Shooting his VCR when he thought his tape was stuck inside. Tommy then tells him that it's probably not plugged in, which turns out to be the case (Supply & Demand).


  1. VCBI Crime Tree Record (Official website)