'Narcos: Mexico' Season 2: Did Pablo Acosta Villarreal aka 'The Ojinaga Fox' die the same way in real life?
A few exploits of Acosta have been narrated by the famous Mexican-folk (norteño) group Los Tigres del Norte in the drug-ballad (narco-corrido) 'El Zorro de Ojinaga'
'Narcos: Mexico' sheds light on Pablo Acosta Villarreal's later years as a Mexican smuggler. A member of the Guadalajara cartel, he operated in Ojinaga and worked closely as a mentor and business partner to Amado Carrillo Fuentes, the so-called 'Lord of the Skies', who took over after Acosta's death.
Played by Gerardo Taracena, his character suffers a brutal death in Season 2 Episode 8 — 'Se Cayó El Sistema'. DEA Agent Walt Breslin (Scoot McNairy) turns up at Acosta’s location with the help of his girlfriend Mimi (Sosie Bacon), only to discover the FBI following him.
The FBI-Mexican Federal Police officers start firing on the gang. Breslin gets in the line of fire and enters the hideout, knowing that the FBI won’t shoot with Breslin inside.
Breslin tries to strike a deal with full protection for Acosta and asks him to cross the river out of Mexico. Initially hesitant, Acosta agrees and walks outside with Breslin as a shield. Acosta, however, suddenly changes his mind and walks out of line. It ends in multiple bullet shots fired onto him leading to his death.
In real life, Acosta was known as El Zorro de Ojinaga (The Ojinaga Fox) and controlled crime along a two-hundred mile stretch of the US-Mexico border. A popular buzz around his life was how he was an informant for the US government on communism and guerrilla movements.
A few exploits of Acosta have been narrated by the famous Mexican-folk (norteño) group Los Tigres del Norte in the drug-ballad (narco-corrido) 'El Zorro de Ojinaga', written by Paulino Vargas.
What's more, his candid confessions as shown in the episode are also based on true life. Investigative journalist Terrance Poppa penned down his rise and fall in his book 'Drug Lord'. His writings were based on direct interviews he conducted with the narcotics smuggler.
Acosta drew his last breath quite similar to what was portrayed on screen. In April 1987, he was shot dead during a joint cross-border raid by the FBI and Mexican Federal Police helicopters into the Rio Grande village of Santa Elena, Chihuahua.
At the end of the episode, Breslin's narration notes, "They put Pablo's body on ice, flew him in the chopper back to the church where the townspeople honored him one last time... and then carried him to a cemetery on the hill where a thousand more people were waiting." That is precisely how Acosta met his end and was paid reverence even after his death.