If you haven’t checkout out Narcos Mexico on Netflix, now (with Caronavirus concerns) would be a great time to give it a watch and catch up. Season 2 came out in mid-February, and the storyline is a direct lead-up to this podcast.
Season 1 focused on the Mexican cartels consolidating into a “federation”–under leader Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and the Guadalajara cartel–and becoming the main transport of Columbian cocaine through Mexico into the United States. Our sources confirm that, although taking some creative license, the story is pretty accurate. The key driver in the plot is the brutal torture and murder of DEA agent Kiki Camarena under orders from Gallardo. (Our story’s DEA agent, Dale Stinson, was Camarena’s partner at one time.)
The second half of Season 2 eventually delves much deeper into Pablo Acosta, the drug lord who ran the Ojinaga “plaza,” meaning he was the cartel boss who controlled all flow of drugs across from Presidio, Texas. It also includes Mimi Webb Miller, an American who was Acosta’s girlfriend and who now runs the La Posada Milagro guest houses in Terlingua.
Since the story line does borrow a lot from the book Drug Lord by Terrence Poppa, it’s clear from watching the episodes that the Narcos producers take A LOT MORE creative license and abandon the facts from time to time. But hey, that’s entertainment, and the basics of what happened continue to be pretty accurate.
For my story here at Presidio, there’s just a bit of overlap. As Poppa describes in his book, Sheriff Rick Thompson only encountered Acosta once in a cross-river conversation in which the sheriff pretty much told Acosta to keep cartel violence on his side of the river. However, Robert Chambers had a much deeper connection to Acosta, as our podcast will reveal. (Neither Thompson nor Chambers are referenced–yet–in the series.)
Additionally, many bizarre stories connected to Chambers and Acosta and the late-1980s world of the drug trade and drug use in Terlingua also are a part of the Presidio podcast.
Finally, as you’ll see in the series, the emergence of Amado Carillo Fuentes (the Lord of the Skies) puts the story right in place at the time Chambers and Sheriff Thompson were beginning their smuggling operation.
In short, I recommend watching both seasons of Narcos Mexico as a primer for what will unfold with Presidio.