Is Narcos Mexico Real? How Much of the Plot Is Inspired From Reality?

Is Narcos Mexico Real? How Much of the Plot Is Inspired From Reality?

The famous biography drama- Narcos Mexico did not fail to enthrall the fans with its astounding cinematography and captivating storyline. It is extracted from the real-life experience of Mexico’s first drug kingpin, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (Diego Luna). The spin-off series of Narcos; Narcos: Mexico has 3 seasons with a total of 30 episodes depicting the topsy-turvy world of drugs.

“It could go forever”, says Eric Newsman in an interview. This emphasizes the fact that the show does not center around a particular lead or cartel but around the system of corruption and smuggling, which will go on as long as legal systems are standing.

Starting from the creation of the drug empire in Guadalajara by Gallardo in the chaotic drug-driven world to its downfall, the first season of Narcos: Mexico experienced massive success with the same critical acclaim Narcos enjoyed. Netflix greeted the audience with a magnificent second season with a total of 10 episodes going back and forth about the Mexican drug war of the 1980s. The war and the season ended with Gallardo’s arrest.

As the series progressed into its final stages in the third season, the viewers see a bunch of new and recurring characters competing to fill up the empty spot left due to Gallardo’s arrest. The series ended with Amado’s alleged death. While it could go on further, showrunners decided to end it.

Narcos Mexico: Reality vs Fiction

Each episode of Narcos: Mexico begins with the following message:

“This dramatization is based on true events. However certain scenes, characters, names, businesses, incidents, locations, and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes.”

So, what exactly does “certain” insinuate?


The essence of Narcos: Mexico lies in its characters. Some of them are based on real-life people who had a massive influence on the world of drugs.

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The real-life Gallardo was known as El Padrino. He was the man responsible for changing the entire imagery of the Mexican drug system. The man turned the individual plazas into a unit of organized crime what we know as the Guadalajara cartel. Among other people that inspired characters in the Netflix Original are Caro Quintero, Kiki and Mika Camarena, Pablo Acosta, and of course, Amado Fuentes.

While it isn’t quite important in the grand scheme of things, Clavel and Palma’s rivalry deserves a special mention. While fans expect their real-life conflict to be rather timid, it was in fact much more gruesome than the series depicts. Palma seduced Clavel’s wife and forced her to withdraw $7 million from her bank account.

Later, he decapitated her and sent her head to Palma in a very Joffrey Baratheon and Ned Stark style. All this was followed by throwing Palma’s children off a bridge. Palma then killed three of Clavel’s children and planned his murder extensively. That certainly was dramatic.


While the blatant corruption of the 1988 Mexican Election in the Netflix series might seem fictional, it, unfortunately, isn’t. Former Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid mentioned in his autobiography that events right from the PRI declaring themselves winners before the vote count to burning of the ballot papers to erase evidence are true.

Also worth mentioning is the downfall of Gallardo. While it would have been quite a scene if all bosses had walked out on him together, Felix’s downfall was much more gradual and all the more painful. Palma was the first one to leave the cartel and following his arrest, his empire crumbled magnificently.

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