Somewhere in South America, a riverside drugs-producing operation is attacked by a band of merciless Indios under the command of a mute Indio assassin named Quecho (Michael Berryman) from the water, while an allied group under a white assassin leads an overland attack against the facility. Armed with blowpipe poison darts and machetes, the natives slaughter everyone in sight, saving the worst treatment for two women members of the narcotics facility whom have their spread-eagled legs pinned to the floor by long, thin daggers, and are gang-raped by the Indios. The whole thing is watched a short distance away from a float plane that lands in the water and the pilot is another white man named Colonel Horne (Richard Lynch). With a barely perceptible nod Colonel Horne gives to Quecho, the bald, mute Indio warrior decapitates both women with his machete. The rest of the Indios loot the bodies, before hacking them apart and disposing them in the water, and then take the drugs to Colonel Horne's float plane.
Meanwhile, a Columbian woman is shown disembarking from a plane at Miami International Airport. She clears customs with ease, apparently carrying a baby in her arms. A blue retro Cadillac is waiting for her outside the terminal and she gets in. It is shown that the "baby" is actually a doll packed with high-grade cocaine. The woman is driven back to the two drug-runners low-rent apartment located in a large boarding house near downtown Miami. In a van near the house, there are two people staking it out. They are Frances Hudson (Lisa Blount) a local reporter, and her cameraman Mark Ludman (Leonardo Manzella) whom are hoping to film an impeding arrest by the DEA and broadcast it live on TV for ratings for their low-key TV station. But minutes later, when they enter the apartment, they find a bloodbath. Both drug dealers and the woman are dead, with the woman's legs spread-eagled and pinned to the floor in the same manner as shown in the opening scenes. Fran looks around and finds a photo of a group of drug dealers loading drugs onto a plane.
Running from the scene before the police arrive, Fran and Mark go to talk to Fargas (Eriq LaSalle), an informant who manages a local strip club, where she shows him the photo and can't shake the feeling that one of the men in the photo looks familiar. Fargas then hints of them about the Jim Jones set. Fran and Mark return to their employers at Cable Video News where they talk with the station owner Bob Allo (Richard Bright) and their supervisor Karin (Karen Black) about their leads in the case of the massacre of several drug dealers all over the USA that has been going on for the past several weeks. After viewing old videotape footage of Jonestown in 1978 on the day prior to the mass suicide, Fran sees the mysterious Colonel Horne in one frame of the newsreel. Since Horne was said to have died in Jonestown, and the photo of him found in the drug dealers apartment is only a few months old, Fran becomes determined to find Horne and get a personal interview with him. But also in the photograph is a certain Tommy Allo (Willie Aames) the long-lost son of Bob Allo, whom disappeared into the jungles of South America nearly 10 years earlier. Desperate to be reunited with his son, Bob Allo equips Fran and Mark with expensive live broadcast equipment to keep track of their progress and sends them off. Fran's search for the plane in the photo leads them to a pilot named Tony Martina (Carlos De Carvalho) who agrees to fly them to Venezuela where he claimed that the drug dealers in the photo took him to.
Meanwhile in the jungles somewhere in southern Venezuela, Tommy Allo, with a guide in tow, attempts to flee from the jungle only to get re-captured by Vlado (John Steiner), a sadistic Russian who operates a drug-producing facility near a large dirt airstrip. He tells the youth not to try to run away again and help them with their work. Tommy is taken back to the camp where he meets with Ana (Valentina Forte) whom is the radio operator and den mother to the camp. When a plane arrives with some food and supplies for the smugglers, Vlado persuades the pilot friend of his to "have his way" with Ana. After the smuggler semi-rapes Ana and leaves, Tommy comforts Ana and persuades her to help him try to escape again when night falls.
But that evening, while Tommy is setting up the landing strip for the arrival of the plane carrying Fran and Mark, by setting afire runway lights, Colonel Horne's hit squad of Indios, led once again by Quecho, arrive and attacks. Vlado manages to flee into the jungle while most of his men are killed. Tommy is attacked on the airstrip by one Indio, whom he shoots dead and also flees into the jungle. The plane with Fran and Mark aboard lands, but soon is hit with poison darts fired by the natives in which the pilot is killed.
After hiding out all night on the plane, Fran and Mark venture outside at daylight to the scene of appalling carnage of the remains of the drug camp. But the only person that's alive is Ana whom they find hiding in a locker. She tells them that Tommy Allo, whom they ask about, has also escaped the carnage and she can direct them to another drug facility nearby which is the residence of the shadowy Colonel Horne. With fuel in the plane on the runway at empty, Fran and Mark have no choice but to follow Ana into the jungle. In the jungle, Tommy comes upon the sight of Vlado, having been tied up with both of his legs to two different trees, begging Tommy to shoot him. But before Tommy can react, Vlado is gruesomely torn apart when the two trees uplift, splitting him in two.
Back in Miami, Karin oversees the broadcast footage that Fran and Mark shoot, while Bob Allo goes off to question Fargus for the whereabouts of his son. Fargus, for a large fee of money, agrees to look into it. Later that day, Fargus at a local train station, makes a call to Allo where he gives him the information that he needs that Colonel Horne may have a camp near the town of Rio Negro in southern Venezuela. But just then, two assassins (apparently from Colonel Horne's payroll) appear and murder Fargus by throwing him in front of a moving train. Allo leaves Miami quickly for Venezuela to check out the leads.
Back in Venezuela, Fran, Mark, and Ana hike into the jungle in search for help, while Quecho and his Indios follow, but for some reason keep their distance and only harass them with various Indios traps. When Ana wonders off into the jungle to relieve herself, she is found the next day by Fran and Mark having been murdered. Forced to continue, Fran and Mark arrive later that day at the destroyed drugs-producing facility where the opening massacre took place. There, they find Tommy Allo in hiding there and they agree to take a boat upriver to Colonel Horne's camp. During the journey, while filming more scenery of the area, they are all captured by Quecho and his men and taken to Colonel Horne's camp.
Meanwhile, Bob Allo arrives by plane in southern Venezuela where he meets with his contact Bud (Luca Barbareschi) who agrees to try to find Colonel Horne's camp in the jungle by flying helicopters over the area. During the patrol, they find Colonel Horne's camp where the Colonel himself fires at the chopper with a rifle. Bud's men fire back, and hit Colonel Horne in the chest. But with fuel running low, Bud has no choice but to return to their base, but promise Allo that they will return in the next day in greater numbers.
At Colonel Horne's camp, Fran, Mark, and Tommy are tied up on X-shaped crosses and beaten by the Indios. Colonel Horne, aware that he may be fatally wounded from the helicopter encounter, tells his men that they are striking camp the next day and moving out. That evening, Horne has Fran cut down from her painful crucifixion position and asks her why she came to find him. Fran explains that she just wants an interview about why he is still alive and what his plans are. Colonel Horne explains that he is determined to follow in the footsteps of his late master, Jim Jones, by controlling the world's cocaine market, claiming that he plans to destroy the weak by helping to corrupt them with cocaine, in the process of freeing humanity of its self-indulgence, purifying it once and for all. But he agrees to let them live until tomorrow to broadcast his statement.
The next day, while Allo and Bud, with a platoon of troops in several helicopters take off to Colonel Horne's camp, the Colonel releases Fran, Mark, and Tommy to film his political statement to the camera crew. Aware that he may be dying, Colonel Horne explains that there are no answers to his works, only actions, for his actions can either be judges pure or unholy. Colonel Horne, as a political statement, orders his right-hand man to behead him right in front of the entire camp. Taking advantage of this chaos, Mark, Fran and Tommy break free and run to Colonel Horne's floatplane. A gun battle begins as the three of them arm themselves with rifles and take on Colonel Horne's Indios killing several of them including Horne's right hand man. Just then, Allo and Bud arrive in a fleet of helicopters where they rain gunfire on the camp, killing many Indios and forcing the rest to flee into the jungle.
When the helicopters land to mop up the area, Tommy runs from the floatplane where he is at last reunited with his father. When Mr. Allo and Tommy leave in Bud's helicopter back to their base, Fran and Mark take off in Horne's floatplane for the long flight back to Miami. But in the final sequence, Quecho, hiding aboard Horne's plane, attacks them in mid-flight. But Fran fights back first by disorienting Quecho with a foam fire extinguisher and killing him at last with a rifle. Now relived that it's over, Fran and Mark fly back to Miami.