We’ve seen Escobar’s cartel take to the streets in Medellin, DEA agents swarm Cali and now the battle to control the narco trade is leaving Colombia for the sights of Mexico City.
Officially titled Narcos:Mexico, the fourth season of the hit-Netflix series will be returning to screens later this year with a focus on the drug wars taking place in Mexico. Set in the 1980’s it will track the rise of the Guadalajara Cartel who pieced together a booming trafficking trade that turned into a narcotics empire.
Actor Diego Luna is returning as Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, who in real-life Mexico founded the cartel that utilised Colombia’s cocaine industry before privatising the Mexican drug trade and used lesser-known drug bosses. Gallardo was eventually arrested and charged with the torture and murder of a DEA agent, remaining in prison today. However his incarceration caused the cartel split into two equally infamous, powerful and dangerous organisations that still hold power in Mexico.
Luna will be joined by Michael Peña who will star as Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a DEA agent that has moved his family from America to Mexico. The two leading characters will trace the development of the modern Mexican drug trade throughout the series.
First aired in 2015, the Netflix series created by Doug Miro and Carlo Bernar is one of the leading TV shows produced by the streaming platform. Alongside Stranger Things, the popularity of the drug-fuelled show has contributed phenomenal growth to Netflix who reported $2.15 billion revenue in a single quarter of 2016 which was succeeded by even more subscribers. The ratings of the show itself have also appeared to grow as the seasons continued to produce more gripping storylines about Colombia’s drug trade. Narcos has won three awards and has been also nominated for countless others thus far.
The show has however been met with steady criticism over the quality of the Spanish language and the depictions of Colombia, albeit not vocal enough. Collectively the citizens of Medellin find the depictions of their city’s history as troubling, and the glorification of a drugs lord that had a hand in the worst violence that Colombia had seen as distasteful and old news. The vibrant city champions the changes since the Colombian drug trade gradual demise in the nineties, yet claim the Netflix show revived perceptions of Colombia that solely link it to narcotics.
More controversy surrounds the show when a location scout for the programme was shot dead in Temascalapa, central Mexico at the end of last year, reported The Guardian. The motives surrounding the murder, similar to the storylines of the Netflix show itself, remain unknown.
The new season is set to conjure gripping drama and tragedy as the Mexican case unravels, and no doubt the huge Narco’s fanbase will look forward to the series debut later this year. However as Gallardo continues to serve his sentence in a maximum security prison in Altiplano, there are also questions about the larger implications that the U.S drama will have upon perceptions of Mexicans and the country, like their Colombian counterparts.