Culture

Is ‘Narcos’ Even Close Real? This Colombian that Grew Up During the Time of Escobar Weighs In

Netflix

At the height of Pablo Escobar’s reign, Bernardo Aparicio García was enjoying his childhood in Colombia. He recounts those years during the narcoterrorism era in a first person essay for Vox.com, that and his thoughts on Netflix original series Narcos.

“The bizarre thing about living in Colombia during the ’80s and ’90s was how normal it seemed to be,” says García. “My childhood was in many ways indistinguishable from that of an American boy in an upper-middle-class suburb.”

WATCH: Yo, Pablo Escobar is Pretty F’n Scary in this Dark, Violent Trailer for ‘Narcos’

Those were his memories, but after a group of coworkers kept buzzing about all the plot twists of the much-talked about series, García finally gave in and gave the show a try. Perhaps the decision would have help him in his  walk down memory lane?

“Watching Narcos seemed like grabbing a bag of popcorn and watching my country burn,” confesses García. “I remember the utter fear I had of Escobar as a child, and I remember the glorious sense of relief I felt the day he was finally vanquished. It was as if Satan and all his hosts had been defeated for good. With each episode of Narcos, the memories keep coming. One of the most eye-opening things about watching Narcos was realizing how significantly the drug wars shaped my world, despite my parents’ best efforts to insulate me.”

For all the debate on the authenticity of the series and specualtion it perpetuates stereoptypes of Colombia, García applauds Narcos.

“The mere fact that a show like this exists is evidence of how far we have come. Violence and the drug trade still play a part in the country’s public life.”
Read Garcia’s full essay, here.

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Mexico Is Selling Off Jewelry And Property Seized From Narcos To Build Necessary Roads

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Mexico Is Selling Off Jewelry And Property Seized From Narcos To Build Necessary Roads

@SAE_Mex / Twitter

Close to 2,000 of pieces of jewelry were auctioned off this past Sunday by the Mexican government. From gold watches to bullet-shaped pendants encrusted with diamonds, the collection is a special set of items that have a place in Mexico’s dark criminal history. This is due to the items once belonging to Mexican drug lords and other sought after criminals. Hundreds of people came from all over the country seeking these exclusive and hallowed items that once belonged to the whos-who of Mexico’s narco world.

The auction is a chance to show the new government’s transparency and also support a good cause. the money from the auction will help fund building roads in western Mexico. 

Credit: @univ_inenglish / Twitter

This past weekend was the third such auction organized by the government, which has announced that the fourth one will sell off land and cash confiscated from drug dealers. The fundraising goal for the auction was 21.8 million pesos, about 1.14 million U.S. dollars, according to the AP. Proceeds from the auctions will be used to repair roadwork near the border between Michoacán and Colima.

Mexico’s austerity-minded President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office last December, is behind the auction. These jewelry sell-offs have been taking place outside Los Pinos, a mansion that was the former residence of the Mexican president. One of López Obrador’s first orders was making the estate in the capital’s Chapultepec Park into a cultural center designated to the open public.

Back in April, López Obrador announced his “Robin Hood” institute, a government agency that would return wealth seized from corrupt politicians and gangsters back to the people. 

“Let’s quickly return everything to the people that’s been stolen,” he said then at a news conference announcing the bill.

While many of the items are high in value, government officials have so far failed to meet some of their fundraising goals. 

Credit: @ruptly / Twitter

The System of Administrative Allocation of Assets (SAE), who is heading the auctions, is expected to host it’s fourth event in the coming weeks. But so far, exceptions have yet to be met in regards to their 21.8 million-peso minimum goal set by SAE head Ricardo Rodríguez.

The SAE has so far raised 10.3 million pesos ($540,000 USD), which is far short of its goal. This past weekend, the government expected between 250 and 350 people to take part in the auction but only 70 signed up to participate. Many of starting prices set forth by the government have yet to matched and buyers have been weary bidding on higher prices items. 

The upcoming auction will feature the properties allegedly confiscated from human trafficking activist Rosi Orozco and accused drug trafficker Xen Li Yegon.

Jewelry items bidding prices range from $655 to $155,000. These high prices are due to the one-of-a-kind nature of the jewelry collection.

Credit: @SAE_Mex / Twitter

One of the biggest draws to the auctions have been people’s curiosity for the narco treasures. Thousands of people have visited Los Pinos just to have a look at the jewelry collection. Felipe Palma, who came to auction with his family Sunday, was one of those curious onlookers. 

“They had some very strange things made,” Palma told the AP. “I imagine the guy that had that type of jewelry made was one of the bosses.”

The most expensive piece of jewelry that is listed is a men’s Piaget watch, valued at $155,000. The watch features an 18 karat, white gold timepiece that features 49 baguette-cut diamonds and an additional 160 baguette-cut diamonds on its side. 

While some of the items are high in value, many of the items that aren’t sought after are often purchased to be melted down to be sold again. Jorge Camacho, who was winning bidder on a Cartier watch and other assorted gold items, will be one of those trying to cash in by selling the items at a secondhand shop.

“There’s a market for everything,” Camacho told the AP. 

READ: Mexican President Lopez Obrador Is Bringing Sweeping Budget Cuts Causing Some Concerns

Pedro Pascal Is Going To Have An Awesome 2019 And These Are The Reasons Why

Entertainment

Pedro Pascal Is Going To Have An Awesome 2019 And These Are The Reasons Why

Slowly but surely this Chilean actor has established himself as one of the go-to celebrities for directors who want some diversity and loads of talent in their cast. We got to know him when he got his eyes popped out in Game of Thrones and the Internet couldn’t get enough of the gruesome scene. He later became the absolute star of the first three seasons of Narcos, where he played a DEA agent with tons of heart and an old-fashioned, film noir look.

2019 will be HUGE, ENORME, MAYUSCULO for this gentleman, as he will appear in The Mandalorian, a spin-off series based on the Star Wars universe.

Here are 21 things that make Pedro awesome and will attract the spotlight in 2019.

1. He is now part of the mainstream in both sides of the Atlantic

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

This is a promotional shot for his Cartier campaign. Being the face of luxury brands is one of the holy grails for actors. The high-end watchmaker liked his Latino looks and his manly disposition. We agree.

2. He is a Netflix commodity now

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

He will appear in Triple Frontier, a Netflix movie about guerrillas in South America. Pedro is one of the most regular faces in originals from the streaming giant, which will guarantee work for years to come.

3. He epitomizes the cool Latino man

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

He is not pretty like Leo DiCaprio, but more rugged like Humphrey Bogart. There are not many A-listers with those characteristics currently working in Hollywood, so the competition is thin!

4. He understands social media

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Few celebrities truly understand social media and what it can do to advance their careers. But Pascal does! Here, for example, he shares an intimate and goofy moment… and drops in a shout out to Happy Socks!

5. He can take a selfie even if a bit borrachito

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Here he is with his partner on a drunken night…. not that bad, but not that sober either! You are forgiven, Pedrito.

6. He is one of the OK guys…

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

He defends those who have to fight for their basic rights. This will expand his fan base significantly, as he is a vocal advocate for causes such as LGBT rights.

7. He stays true to his calling… damn fine acting

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Many actors forget their roots and lose their passion once they start appearing in high profile movies and TV show. Not Pedro, who works in Broadway, mainly in adaptations of Shakespeare plays like King Lear.

8. Because perritos….

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

He constantly uploads photos of him and his furry friends…. nothing better for keeping current. Que ternuritas…. 

9. He speaks out when he is fed up

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Contrary to many migrants who stop fighting for other migrants’ rights once they are in a comfortable situation, Pedro is not afraid to demand justice. The recent crisis concerning children in government detention centers proved this.

10. He is a cool AF tío

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Just look at him with his two sobrinos, chilling and being silly.

11. He partners with A-listers to demand political change

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Here he is with Mark Ruffalo, an A-lister who is a big supporter of Bernie Sanders and basically politics that oppose the current government. What a pair of superheroes!

12. He hates toxic masculinity…. PREACH

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Just read what this awesome image on his Insta account says. In the #metoo era, it is comforting to see that not all men are pendejos and that some of today’s boys will be taught right and learn to be respectful and speak for their actions.

13. Man, Prospect looks awesome

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Nothing like a good old-fashioned sci-fi movie to establish an actor’s career. Prospect showcased Pedro’s talent to work with special effects and complex plot lines, which will surely catch the eye of studio executives.

14. La familia es primero

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Pedro adores his parents and is not afraid to demonstrate it and share candid photos on social media. This always goes well with Hispanic audiences, who relate to celebrities who have strong family ties that fame and money cannot break. Here we see his dad’s birthday celebrations. Queremos pastel! 

15. Glossy magazines love him

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Pascal’s face is pretty much omnipresent by now. This is a pajama shooting for GQ. Is this anything that this heartthrob cannot pull off?

16. He understands the world because he is a migrant

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

His family is left-leaning when it comes to politics, which wasn’t such a good idea in Pinochet’s Chile. He grew up in Texas after having fled to Denmark as a child. Today’s world is global and he gets it, which translates into success in different markets.

17. He is a go-to talent for arthouse filmmakers

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Following the success of Moonlight, director Barry Jenkins directed If Beale Street Could Talk, about the writer James Baldwin. Pascal plays Pietro Alvarez, a secondary but essential role in this story of literary beauty and self-discovery. There will be Oscar buzz for this film and Pedro will surely grace the red carpet during award season.

18. People will keep watching Narcos to understand the cartel wars

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Narcos is one of the most popular Netflix franchises, and as the narrative of the show moves to Mexico, audiences will want to revisit the Colombian seasons to understand and connect the dots. There to meet them will be Pedro Pascal’s bigote and tough antics. In a rewatch we can really understand how crucial Pascal’s character, Javier, is for the moral definition of the show, as he knows that sometimes the law has to be bent in the pursuit of justice.

19. He will re-team with Wagner Moura and act alongside Gael and Penelope Cruz!

Credit:penelope_cruz_wagner_moura_and_gael_garcia_bernal_-_getty_-_h_split_2018. Digital image. HR

His Narcos counterpart and he will appear in Wasp Network, a movie about Cuban political prisoners. Gael Garcia Bernal and Penelope Cruz will also be part of this amazing cast! This is basically the creme de la creme of Hispanic talent, so it is great to see Pedro Pascal breaking bread with more established Latinos who have changed the face of the industry.

20. He was a role in the super secret Wonder Woman 1984

Credit: ww84_-_screengrab_-_h_2018. Digital image. HR.

Director Patty Jenkins shared an enigmatic image in which Pascal appears in a Trump-like suit…. we can only guess that he will be the villain in the much-awaited follow-up to the first Wonder Woman film.

21. He will star in The Mandalorian, a Star Wars spin-off TV show!

Credit: themandalorian-1280-1538697197244_1280w. Digital image. IGN
We saved the best for last. Pedrito will star in The Mandalorian, the much awaited Star Wars universe TV show that is expected to spearhead Disney’s very ambitious expansion into the streaming market. The confines of the universe are now the limit for this amazing Chilean.

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