Nar­cos: Mex­ico

DRAMA Net­flix

TV & Satellite Week - - Hot List -

Diego Luna plays drug lord Félix Gal­lardo, who is set on build­ing a crim­i­nal em­pire in a new se­ries fol­low­ing the rise of the Guadala­jara Car­tel in Mex­ico in the 1980s.

‘With the death of Pablo Es­co­bar, the Mex­i­cans be­came the kings of co­caine’ ERIC NEW­MAN

Over three sea­sons, ac­claimed Net­flix true-life drama Nar­cos ex­plored the Colom­bian drug car­tels led by Pablo Es­co­bar, who made bil­lions by ship­ping co­caine into the United States.

How­ever, as a new Nar­cos spin-off re­veals, the Colom­bians weren’t the only peo­ple mak­ing their for­tunes. At the same time, Mex­i­can gangs were work­ing along­side the Colom­bians to smug­gle drugs over the bor­der.

‘With the death of Es­co­bar in 1993, the Mex­i­cans took over and be­came the kings of co­caine,’ says ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Eric New­man. ‘The US shares 1,900 miles of bor­der with Mex­ico, so it made per­fect sense.’

The se­ries fol­lows for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer Miguel Án­gel Félix Gal­lardo (Diego Luna), who con­trolled al­most all of the drug traf­fick­ing in Mex­ico.

‘Gal­lardo was a vi­sion­ary,’ says New­man. ‘He found a way to unite the traf­fick­ers of Mex­ico, who at the time were dis­parate, one-man op­er­a­tions, and cre­ated the Guadala­jara Car­tel, the first su­per car­tel.’


As the Amer­i­can govern­ment bat­tled the flood of drugs into the coun­try, un­der­cover DEA agent Kiki Ca­marena (Michael Peña) in­fil­trated Gal­lardo’s car­tel – but at huge risk to his safety.

‘The col­li­sion be­tween these two men was the first shot in the war,’ says New­man. ‘It seemed like a nat­u­ral place to start. It al­lows us to tell the

Mex­i­can drug war in its en­tirety from1980 into the present.’

To­day, Mex­i­can car­tels take in over $20 bil­lion from drug sales in the US, and more than 200,000 peo­ple have been killed or have dis­ap­peared since Mex­ico’s govern­ment de­clared war on or­gan­ised crime in 2006.

Sadly, one vic­tim was Car­los Muñoz Por­tal, who was shot dead last year while scout­ing for lo­ca­tions for

Nar­cos: Mex­ico.

‘It was a ter­ri­ble tragedy,’ New­man says. ‘We had to pause a mo­ment, mourn and then care­fully con­sider whether or not we could pro­ceed safely.

‘Au­then­tic­ity is so im­por­tant to us, and we felt we had to do the story of the Guadala­jara Car­tel in Mex­ico. But we made ev­ery at­tempt to film only in the ar­eas that we knew to be safe.’



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