Documentary by Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria

Argentina has been the headquarters of the Sinaloa cartel, the most powerful drug group in Mexico. The investigation and the opinion of specialists has shown that the nine Mexicans arrested in the Ingeniero Maschwitz laboratory in July 2008 belonged to the cartel led by Joaquín «Chapo» Guzmán Lorea, the most dangerous drug lord in the Aztec nation and the most wanted by the United States of America.

They said it: «Because of the type of facilities they found in Argentina, the age and origin of all the Mexicans arrested there and the destination of the shipments of ephedrine smuggled from Buenos Aires, it was the Sinaloa cartel that was installed in Argentina», explained Ricardo Ravelo, author of ‘Los Capos: las Narco-rutas de México’, a best seller that was followed by three other publications on drug trafficking originating in his country, to the Argentinean newspaper Crítica. Samuel Gonzalez, former representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and former Chief Prosecutor for Organized Crime in Mexico, confirmed this with the same forcefulness. «The group arrested in Buenos Aires was linked to Leon, a plaza controlled by the Sinaloa cartel. Its undisputed boss, Chapo Guzman, has been very skillful in developing his business strategy and his relationship in the political sphere guarantees him impunity,» said Gonzalez, a security and justice advisor to the Mexican state.

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He is a controversial figure in Mexico. Linked to the self-defense groups and the world of drug trafficking, he is in the sights of the rising Jalisco Cartel – New Generation, which is currently looking for his head, while in the Tepalcatepec area he is greeted with praise and cheers. El Abuelo is a celebrity to some and a criminal to others. He has even collaborated with Alfredo Castillo, Mexico’s security commissioner, with whom he apparently drew up plans and strategies for reconquest.

Alvarez is not only one of the narcos with the strongest presence in the Tepalcatepec area, located between the states of Michoacan and Jalisco, but he has also been one of the founders of Mexico’s self-defense groups and has therefore been considered a threat to the hegemony of the CJNG.

Long before operating in Tepalcatepec, El Abuelo was suspected of being the head of the Los Valencia Cartel. However, by 2009 he was accused of being part of the CJNG and working as an operator in Michoacan, as well as being a lieutenant in the areas of Tepelcatepec, Sahuayo, Juquilpan and Aguililla.

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A narcoseries (also known as narconovela or narcotelenovela) is a television genre of Colombian origin,[citation needed] which is originally produced in several Latin American countries, especially Colombia and Mexico. It generally tells a story that can be real or fictional and generally melodramatic plot over several chapters, framed especially in violence, prostitution and everything that is generated from the culture of drug trafficking.[1][2][3][3]

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The popularity of narcoseries has been criticized despite the fact that they have reached high levels of international ratings and success.[6] Critics condemn the exploitation of «drug addiction, prostitution, drugs and murders» to profit from misery and lack of ethics, in which the bad guys are the heroes. [7][8] Narconovelas, and other narco-filmography has helped to impose a stereotypical image of Colombians and the country abroad.[9] The name of murderous drug traffickers like Pablo Escobar has come to be glorified both in worldwide series such as Hollywood or streaming websites like Netflix, thus making the narco «synonymous with Colombia.»[6]

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Teresa is not an ambitious character, nor is she inclined towards crime. However, due to the circumstances that are presented to her, she gets deeper and deeper into organized crime, climbing and succeeding in her criminal career without looking for it, but without avoiding it.

Teresa, coming from a relatively marginalized background, presents a reality that is alien to many, in the sense that it shows the difficult circumstances that sometimes bring one into contact with organized crime. This offers the audience a perspective that highlights the complexity of drug trafficking in Mexico and how it could be simplistic to categorize everyone who enters this environment in the same way.

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At first glance, it could be said that this narrative makes drug trafficking seem acceptable. However, at the same time the telenovela seems to critique how hard and difficult life can be for people involved in the drug trade, so it does not paint it as aspirational. It also reinforces the idea that once in the business, it is not easy to get out. In the telenovela, the only way out is through death or, as in Teresa’s case, by disappearing.

Por Rosa Bartolomé Navarrete

Soy Rosa Bartolomé Navarrete, Directora de Marketing Digital en Mundo ¡Ayudamos a las startups a encontrar su camino en el mundo digital, a crecer y a sacar sus apps al mercado!

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