NARCOS: MEXICO is back for a new season! Could this be the best ‘narcos’ ever?
The new series focuses on the beginning of drug trade in Mexico during 1980’s Guadalajara.
Narcos: Mexico is the fourth season of Netflix’s marquee drug-war series. Seasons 1 and 2 charted the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar in Colombia; last year’s third season expanded to Colombia’s Cali Cartel.
Narcos: Mexico — the fourth season overall in the Narcos saga — featured a primarily new cast when it traveled back to 1980s Mexico to show the birth of the Guadalajara cartel over the course of 10 episodes (which launched on Netflix on Nov. 16).
In order to trace the origins of the Mexican drug war, the newest chapter in the cartel drama once again pitted a narco, Guadalajara’s Felix Gallardo (Diego Luna), against a DEA agent, Kiki Camarena (Michael Pena). After building his empire — one that included both Pablo Escobar (played by Wagner Moura) and their Colombian rivals in Cali in a surprise crossover episode — Narcos: Mexico arrived to the unhappy ending the narrator had warned about in the season’s opening minutes: Camarena was abducted, tortured and killed by Gallardo and his men.
“Kiki Camarena is the first martyr in the drug war,” showrunner Eric Newman tells The Hollywood Reporter of the much-documented true story of Camarena, the undercover Mexican-American DEA agent who was abducted in Guadalajara and killed in 1985. “The collision between [Kiki and Felix] became so immediately clear as the best path to get to jumpstarting the Mexican chapter of this story.”
The final two episodes of Narcos: Mexico are a dramatization of the torture Camarena was put through before the Americans ultimately discovered his body, including an imagined scene of the final confrontation in the cat-and-mouse game between Camarena and the narco kingpin. “There are some tapes floating around of the audio from the torture and I could never stomach listening to them,” Pena tells THR of portraying the real-life agent in his final moments. “I can only imagine [that confrontation] because I don’t really know. But when Felix actually talks about it, he denies any involvement whatsoever. I think you can hear it in the tapes.”