How close can 'Narcos: Mexico' get to fugitive ex-drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero holed up in a mountain home
Depicting the tale of Guadalajara cartel's ascent, 'Narcos: Mexico' brings forth the action and drama from the 1980s' Mexican drug war. From the moment Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo is seen in the show, he seems to be on a quest to rescue his friend Rafael Caro Quintero (Tenoch Huerta Mejia) from the cops. Known as Rafa in the gang, he soon becomes Félix Gallardo's partner and the co-founder of the Guadalajara cartel. Even with an episode specifically named after him — 'Rafa, Rafa, Rafa!' — it is still to be seen how closely the show-makers will portray his character in the show.
In the series, he is seen as a heedless, hot-headed man whose impulsive romantic desires cost Félix Gallardo and his counterparts much loss. Nevertheless, he is also the pastoral genius as he develops a new strain of marijuana that grows without seeds, stems or other "unsmokable" parts. Well, that's not all. He even manages to dig deep into the ground to find water in a desert! But towards the end of the season, he is captured along with Don Neto. So, what actually transpires in Rafael's life thereafter?
Born in Sinaloa among twelve other siblings in 1952, Rafael is the brother of the former leader of the defunct Sonora cartel, Miguel Caro Quintero. Known as the 'Narco of Narcos', he was introduced to marijuana farming and production by Mexican drug lord Pedro Avilés Pérez. His interest in growing weed can be attributed to his early years. At the age of 16, he left his hometown and settled in Caborca, Sonora, where he worked in livestock grazing. Two years later, he tried his luck as a truck driver and at a bean and corn plantation in Sinaloa before finally joining the drug trade.
Rafael is listed as accused in the torture and death of two innocent men as they accidentally broke into one of his private parties. His involvement in the kidnapping and murder of DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena Salazar was the final blow to his career. Arrested in 1985, he was sentenced to 40 years and detained in the maximum-security prison Almoloya de Juárez. In 2007, he was transferred to another maximum-security facility, known as Puente Grande, before being moved to a medium-security one in Jalisco in 2010.
After spending 28 years in jail, Rafael was let out in 2013 on the orders of a judge in Jalisco. His release irked the administration of former US President Barack Obama and the United States Department of Justice called it extremely disappointing. An arrest warrant was issued again in 2014 but Rafael fled from the Mexican authorities and is currently among the 15 most-wanted fugitives of Interpol. While still on the run, he gave an interview to Proceso in 2016 and another to Huffington Post in 2018 in which he appeared to be "aging and frail". Instead of his lavish life, he is said to be living in a simple mountain home and has repeatedly denied allegations of being involved in drug trade.