If you are a fan of Netflix’s “Narcos” series and are confused by the latest installment, “Narcos: Mexico,” don’t worry — you’re not alone. Rather than a continuation of the previous three seasons, it’s a parallel storyline of the war on drugs. Instead of Colombian cocaine and Pablo Escobar, the war in this series focuses on the Mexican marijuana drug trade of the early 1980s.
Produced by Carlo Bernard and Doug Mario and starring Michael Peña (of “Ant-Man” fame), the new story centers around the Guadalajara Cartel and the efforts of DEA agent Kiki Camarena (Peña) to bring down the cartel from the inside. As with the previous seasons, “Narcos: Mexico” is primed with good acting and a compelling storyline.
It’s quite the eye opener on how marijuana was (and to many still is) perceived as a gateway drug. Several scenes are splashed with copious amounts of nose-blistering cocaine use at drug lord parties. So, it will be interesting to see whether ratings keep this series going based on the new perceptions of marijuana and its newfound legalization.
After the hysterical acting of Peña in “Ant-Man,” it comes as no surprise that Peña is also a well-versed serious actor, thanks to his other roles in movies such as “Shooter” and “Fury.” His adversary in “Narcos: Mexico” is Félix Gallardo (Diego Alexander of “Rogue One” and “Flatliners”), referred to as El Padrino (The Godfather), a drug lord who consolidates all major drug trafficking through the Mexican/American border during this time period.
While there are some liberties taken with facts regarding the storyline, much of what is presented is based on actual events. Making the show even more intriguing is the mysterious death of a location scout who was found murdered with multiple gunshot wounds and no witnesses, a real-life caution to the dangers of the drug trade that are still alive and well in modern times.
As the narrator states at the beginning of the show: “There may never be an end to the war on drugs.” This show gives us the beginnings of the war on drugs and our place within it during a time when our own government was complicit in keeping the drug trade alive while the Mexican government had to literally be prodded along to do its job of law enforcement. Indeed, the war continues.
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