Carlos Muñoz Portal was a renowned location scout, having worked for films such as “Apocalypto,” “Sicario,” and “Spectre.” Most recently, the 37-year-old was working for Netflix’s crime drama “Narcos,” which depicts the rise and fall of different drug cartels in Colombia, including Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartel. Muñoz Portal was scouting locations in Mexico for the upcoming season 4 of “Narcos”, which reportedly focuses on the rise of the Juarez Cartel, when he was shot and killed, according to Variety. His death was confirmed by an anonymous friend to the Spanish newspaper El País. According to El País, there is an active investigation into Muñoz Portal’s death, though many details still remain a mystery. The New York Times reports Muñoz Portal was driving to the state of Mexico with a camera to do some scouting on Sept. 11. Hours later, his body was found in his car near the border of the state of Hidalgo. The unidentified friend believes that a foreigner in that area of Mexico with a camera might have sparked concern and suspicion, leading to a deadly confrontation.
“The car of the victim was embedded in a nopalera,” Claudio Barrera, a spokesperson for the attorney general of the state of Mexico, told El País. “We do not know if he was in Hidalgo and from there they followed him or if he was in the State of Mexico and tried to flee towards Hidalgo.”
Barrera also told El País that there were no witnesses to the crime, making the investigation difficult. Variety reports that the death of Muñoz Portal has caused doubts about whether or not the production of “Narcos” season 4 will continue in Mexico. Business Insider reports that Hidalgo has the highest murder rate in Mexico, with 12.2 people murdered per 100,000 residents.
“We are aware of the passing of Carlos Muñoz Portal, a well-respected location scout, and send our condolences to his family,” read a statement released by Netflix. “The facts surrounding his death are still unknown as authorities continue to investigate.”