8 'Narcos' Season 2 Moments That Really Happened, No Matter How Fictional They Seem

The second season of Narcos might open every episode with a disclaimer about how some of the events in the series have been fictionalized, but quite a lot of the show is inspired by true events. Here are eight things in Narcos Season 2 that really happened — at least, according to the accounts of people involved and reporting at the time. Pablo Escobar was a larger than life figure, but the impact of the actions he took and the drugs he sold were very, very real. The second season of Narcos covers just how hard it was for every faction in the battle for Medallín, from Escobar trying to keep his family safe, to the police that just want to slow the fatalities in their ranks, to the American DEA agents who struggled to make an impact without taking over the investigation from local forces.

It's worth noting that Escobar's son Sebastian Marroquin has quite a few issues with the season and the events he claims it fictionalized, detailing a full list of his plotline issues to The Mirror. Netflix did not respond to Bustle's request for comment on Marroquin's list. But, while the events depicted in Narcos were shaped into a narrative — you can tell, because real life is never as organized as a season of TV — quite of few of the details, including plenty of things that seemed so extreme that they must be fictionalized, really happened. And, I think making Escobar a more sympathetic and central character in Season 2 helped to do that, since while the season takes place over a very short period of time, just a year or so compared to the 20-plus years in Season 1, showing different perspectives on the same real events helps put that in perspective.

The Unlikely Escape

While the idea of Pablo escaping from the "prison" where he was voluntarily held briefly seems like it could only make sense on TV, it's true — and it's even backed up by his own son, in his book Pablo Escobar, My Father , which suggests the escape was planned out over a long period of time.

His High Body Count

According to an early episode of Season 2, Pablo killed hundreds of police officers. And based on The Telegraph's report from his son, Escobar was allegedly responsible for the deaths of 500 officers in a one month period.

Disappearing Cash

When Jhon went to look for Pablo's money and found that the money itself has physically vanished after rotting away, it sounded a lot like something that you can read in Marroquin's book. In Pablo Escobar: My Father , he wrote about an incident where his aunt attempted to find Pablo's backup cash reserve, but found nothing.

Colonel Carrillo's Taking Control

According to real-life agents Pena and Murphy, who broke down the season's facts with The Hollywood Reporter, the actual Col. Martinez was incredibly tough — and they loved working with him. "For us that was great because here’s a can-do guy and our ambassador at the U.S. embassy was a can-do guy, so all of the pieces just fell into place for us to move forward," Murphy explained.

Escobar Having Hippos

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Here's a weird piece of the truth: According to Vice's Motherboard, in one of his charitable gestures, Pablo Escobar opened a zoo, where he hosted wild animals including hippos on his estate. These animals can be seen in several episodes of Narcos and, according to the Vice article, the hippos have rejoined their non-native wild surroundings and adapted to the Colombian wilderness.

Escobar Writing Letters To The Editor

In the show, this is used as an example of how successful Carrillo's campaign of terror was driving Escobar into paranoia and fear. And according to the LA Times, Pablo really did write into newspapers in order to promote his views.

Trujilo The Traitor

According to both Murphy & Pena and showrunner Eric Newman, Trujilo, the cop that joins Los Pepes and eventually becomes the one to kill Pablo, is based on a real person — they're just not able to use his real name for legal reasons. "When you’re dealing with depictions of real people, you have to be careful if you don’t have their rights so we changed his name for legal purposes," Newman explained.

Pablo's Death On The Rooftop

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In his book, Marroquin claims that Pablo committed suicide, while the government takes credit for killing Escobar, and Murphy insists that when he was there, that's what he saw. But, one thing is completely inarguable about that day: Pablo Escobar really did die on that rooftop by a gunshot to the side of the head.

Image: Juan Pablo Gutierrez/Netflix (8)