On September 16th Carlos Muñoz Portal, a thirty-seven-year-old location manager for Redrum, was found dead in his car on an unnamed dirt road in the community of San Bartolo Actopan, in Temascalapa in central Mexico.
The area is on the border with Hidalgo, the Mexican state with the highest homicide rate. Munoz Poral was in Mexico scouting possible locations for the fourth series of Netflix’s hit show Narcos when he was found dead with multiple bullet wounds.
The show, which premiered in 2015, documents the real stories of the cocaine trade in Columbia throughout the 1980s and the rise and fall of the infamous drug-lord Pablo Escobar. A statement by Netflix confirmed the murder: “we are aware of the death of Carlos Munoz Portal, a respected location manager, and offer our condolences to his relatives. The facts are still unknown as authorities continue to investigate what happened.”
The shooting even attracted the attention of Pablo Escobar’s brother. Seventy-one-year-old Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria sent a warning to Netflix and advised them to avoid using Mexico and Columbia as locations for the show.
He told the Hollywood Reporter: “You have to eliminate all threats. If you have the intellect, you don’t need to use weapons. If not, you have to. In this case, Netflix should provide hit-men to their people as security [...] It’s very dangerous, especially without our blessing. This is my country,” he continued. “I don’t want Netflix or any other film production company to film any movies in Medellín or Colombia that relate to me or my brother Pablo without any authorisation from Escobar Inc.”
The death is very mysterious as no witnesses have come forward meaning there is no understanding of the events that led up to the scout’s death. This means there is no evidence, no suspects or anything that could lead to discovering the truth. The police are still actively seeking leads in the case.
Munoz’s friend told Spanish newspaper El Pais that he believes that locals may have become suspicious and wary after seeing an unknown man in the crime ridden area with a camera collecting information. His assumption is that they decided to then track his movements.
The crime rate in Mexico is extremely high and is still increasing year after year. Government statistics this year showed that 2,186 murders were committed in May alone while 9,916 murders were reported in the from January to May.
Carlos had maintained a successful career working for Redrum, a Mexico City-based production company, for over ten years. His death, scarily similar to those depicted in the show, has caused feelings of insecurity amongst the crews as they question where they will shoot the fourth season of the show. It is uncertain if shooting will continue in Mexico or if the crew will be forced to move elsewhere.