Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria, brother of the infamous Colombian drug kingpin whose rise and fall are dramatized by the Netflix series, spoke with the Hollywood Reporter about the security for crew of the hit series.
When asked what further security measures could be taken to protect the Narcos crew, Gaviria, who was the former accountant and “chief of the hit men” of the Medellin Cartel, said “you need to eliminate all threats.”
“When I was walking in the jungle one day, I had a bag with $2 million in $100 bills. The army was searching for me and Pablo at this time. Suddenly, we are being shot at,” Gaviria said.
He continued, “Both me and Pablo, along with a few security people, start running towards a small channel of water, we swim away. This was all done without guns. 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,” Pablo’s former “hit man chief” said.
When asked if it’s too dangerous for Hollywood to use Mexico, or the Narcos‘ former location, Colombia as shooting locations, Gaviria said that if the project is about him or his brother, they should seek out his permission first.
“I don’t want Netflix or any other film production company to film any movies in Medellin or Colombia that relates to me or my brother Pablo without authorization from Escobar Inc.,” he said. “It is very dangerous. Especially without our blessing. This is my country.”
Gaviria continued, “You see, we own all the trademarks to all of our names and also for the Narcos brand. I don’t play around with these people in Silicon Valley. They have their phones and nice products. But they don’t know life and would never dare to survive in the jungle of Medellin or Colombia. I have done that. Their mothers should have left them in the womb. That is what we tell people like this if they come to Colombia.”
Gaviria is currently demanding $1 billion from Netflix, with claims that the show wasn’t authorized to use his brother’s likeness and story. He founded Escobar Inc., one year before Narcos premiered and filed for “successor-in-interest-rights” for his brother in the state of California.
Gaviria revealed that he and his attorneys are “in discussions” with a “scared” Netflix to meet his demand. If the streaming platform fails to meet his demands, Gaviria said “we will close their little show.”
Narcos Season 4 is said to be exploring the origins of Mexico’s Juarez cartel similar to Season 3’s focus on the rise and fall of Colombia’s Cali cartel.
Location manager Muñoz was shot to death in a violent region in central Mexico, Netflix confirmed on Monday. Portal’s death raises questions on whether the production will continue in Mexico or move back to Colombia.
Netflix issued the following statement: “We are aware of the passing of Carlos Muñoz Portal, a well-respected location scout, and send our condolences to his family. The facts surrounding his death are still unknown as authorities continue to investigate.”
The location manager had been working in the film industry for more than a decade and his resume includes Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto and 2015’s James Bond flick Spectre.
Portal’s last Instagram post was a photo of Puebla, Mexico with the caption “Home 🏡.”
An investigation into Portal’s death is still ongoing.