Photos of The 'Narcos: Mexico' Cast & Their Real Life Counterparts
Although most of the characters in Narcos: Mexico are based on real people, information — and photos — of these real-life drug lords is few and far between. Fortunately, there are a few photos of the Narcos: Mexico characters to give audiences some historical context when Season 2 premieres on Thursday, Feb. 13.
The central villain in Narcos: Mexico so far has been Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (Diego Luna), who tortured and murdered Kiki Camarena at the tail-end of Season 1. Gallardo (whose photo interested parties can see here) was ultimately apprehended by authorities in April 1989, per the New York Times, and is still serving time in prison.
In this upcoming season, the DEA is on the case to avenge their fellow agent's brutal murder in what's known as Operation Leyenda. Scoot McNairy joins the Season 2 cast as Walt Breslin, whose character is based on a composite of DEA agents investigating Camarena's death. One of the most notable real-life agents on the case was Hector Berrellez, who was recruited to run Operation Leyenda in January 1989, according to LA Weekly.
Here are some of the Narcos: Mexico cast along with their real-life inspirations.
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán (Alejandro Edda)
El Chapo hasn't risen to power yet in Narcos: Mexico, but he is presently considered the most infamous Sinaloa cartel member — eclipsing his former boss, Gallardo — and has escaped prison several times. In February 2019, El Chapo was ultimately sentenced to life in prison without parol, according to Vice, and is now imprisoned in Florence, Colorado.
Isabella Bautista, based on Sandra Ávila Beltrán (Teresa Ruiz)
Although Isabella Bautista is a fictional character, she is likely based on Beltrán, who was a key Narcos player. She was given the moniker Queen of the Pacific and was imprisoned for money laundering in 2007, per the Guardian, before being released in 2015. The USA series Queen of the South may very well be based on her, as the article speculated.
Pablo Acosta Villarreal (Gerardo Taracena)
Journalist Terrence Poppa wrote the 1990 book Drug Lord: A True Story: The Life and Death of a Mexican Kingpin, which centers on Pablo Acosta. According to the author's site, Acosta was business partners with Amado Carrillo Fuentes and smuggled cocaine across the U.S.-Mexico border before his death in 1987.
Amado Carrillo Fuentes (José María Yazpik)
In July 1997, the Washington Post reported that Amada died during plastic surgery. The so-called "Lord of the Skies" was under the knife for eight hours in a Santa Monica hospital, per the article, in order to change his appearance.
"Amado Carrillo Fuentes was arguably the most powerful drug trafficker in Mexico," DEA Administrator Thomas A. Constantine told the Post. "The disruption his death will cause among Mexican drug trafficking organizations will be significant."
Mimi Webb Miller (Sosie Bacon)
Webb Miller is originally from Texas, per a 2014 New York Times article, but by the '70s, she was leading horseback riding tours in Big Bend National Park, on the border of northern Chihuahua and western Texas. Eventually, Webb Miller befriended Pablo Acosta and soon became romantically involved with him. "He was kind of like Kissinger," she said, referring to the drug lord. "Not the handsomest man I'd ever met, but a strong guy, with a lot of charisma."
After he died in '87, the article detailed, she fled the region. As of 2014, Webb Miller was dividing her time between California, where she works as a casting director for commercials, and leading tour groups down in Terlingua.
Benjamín Arellano Félix (Alfonso Dosal)
Arellano Félix is Gallardo's nephew, per the Guardian, and he and his brother Ramon took over the business when their uncle went to jail in '89. He was apprehended by Mexican authorities in 2002 and in 2012, Benjamín pled guilty to racketeering and conspiracy to launder money, per the Daily Mail, receiving a 25-year sentence. In 2000, he was portrayed by Benicio del Toro in the movie Traffic, the article said.
Hélmer "Pacho" Herrera (Alberto Ammann)
Enedina Arellano Félix (Mayra Hermosillo)
Sister to the Arellano Felix brothers, Enedina rose through the ranks and became perhaps the first female cartel leader, according to Time. She began money laundering in the 2000s, the article reported, and has even inspired a song: "La Jefa de Tijuana." As of 2015, Enedina was the head of the Tijuana Cartel, according to the San Antonio Express-News.