Culture

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

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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‘Narcos: Mexico’ Is Back For A Second Season: Here’s Everything We Know So Far

Entertainment

‘Narcos: Mexico’ Is Back For A Second Season: Here’s Everything We Know So Far

Since Netflix aired Narcos, the crime thriller retelling the rise of the cocaine trade in Colombia led by drug lord Pablo Escobar, the story has enjoyed indomitable success. After three seasons, Netflix and the show creators Chris Brancato, Doug Miro, and Carlo Bernard, created “Narcos: Mexico” a standalone story. Shifting the focus from Colombia to Mexico, the series tells the story of the Mexican drug trade all the way from the 80s down to what it is today. So, is there going to be a second season to the story? The answer is yes! 

Netflix announced the second season last year, just three weeks prior to the premiere of the first season. This upcoming season would make the franchise’s fifth installment. Little is known about the upcoming Narcos: Mexico 2 so far. There are numerous theories and speculations about what could possibly happen. So here’s all we know as of yet.

When will it be released?

Credit: narcos / Netflix

Netflix hasn’t announced an official release date yet. The series first dropped in November 2018, and production on season 2 began filming in Mexico City last year—where the first chapter was also filmed. All three seasons of Narcos and the standalone series have ten episodes per season, so if we follow the patternseries are usually released around the same time of year, we could expect a similar premiere date for the next installment around November this year.

The Plot and cast

At the end of the first season, it was revealed that Scoot McNairy, the unseen all-knowing narrator, was an agent who will lead a task force to indict those responsible for DEA Agent Kiki Camarena’s death, which is set up to be the plot for season two.

It’s speculated that viewers would witness what happened after the death of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent played by Michael Peña, who was captured and tortured before his death. The good guys in the DEA are expected to bring justice to the murder of one of their associates. And it’s been suggested that Kiki’s death would intensify the government’s war on drugs. 

“What occurred in Guadalajara gave beginning to the primary cartel. From that, others would observe. And the violence and cash and medicines, they simply fucking explode. It modified the DEA, too. Perhaps it woke us up, I don’t know,” Walt Breslin (Scoot McNairy) stated in the final moments of Season one, hinting at a possibly deepened war between the United States’ law enforcement and the drug cartel in season two.

Diego Luna and Scoot McNairy are set to return to the new installment of Narcos: Mexico. The cast will include Alejandro Edda as Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, Teresa Ruiz as Isabella Bautista, and Tenoch Huerta as Rafael Caro Quintero. It’s not certain if Alyssa Diaz will return to her role as Mika Camarena, the wife of Kiki. 

Depending on the direction the writers take Narcos: Mexico, the show could also see the rise of the Sinaloa Cartel in the late 80s as a result of Gallardo’s downfall after his capture and incarceration in 1989. 

Gallardo is currently serving his 37-year jail term in prison in Mexico for killing Kiki Camarena. The now 73-year-old said he was suffering from ill-health and wished to complete his sentence under house arrest. According to The Associated Press, Gallardo was denied the request. In a court ruling back in February of this year, it was decided that despite his advanced age, he was not qualified for release. 

Is there a trailer for season two?

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We’re building an empire. Why stop now?

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Gaumont International Television, the production studio behind Narcos: Mexico, has kept the show under wraps. We haven’t seen any trailers for the upcoming season revealed. It seems like we will only get to see images from season two after the production wraps. Diego Luna has said that the filming is still going on, so all we can do is keep a close eye on his social media to spot a sneak peek. 

The show recently received a WGA nomination in the “Episodic Drama” category. Diego Luna also received recognition for his role as Felix Gallardo. The Mexican actor was awarded a Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series after the first season of Narcos: Mexico.

Going back to the roots of the modern drug war, Narcos: Mexico is set in a time when the Mexican trafficking world was loose and disorganized, run by independent growers and users. Throughout the show we will witness the rise of the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1980s with Felix Gallardo at the helm, unifying traffickers in order to build an empire. A tragic chain of events unfolds as the drug trade grows and governments declare war against narco-trafficking for years to come. Season one is available to watch now on Netflix if you’re down for a binge run before the release of the second installment later this year.

READ: 21 Times Netflix’s “Narcos” Got It Wrong

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

Things That Matter

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