A location scout for the Netflix series Narcos has been found murdered in a part of Mexico known for the very same drug violence the show portrays. Spanish language news periodical El País reported Sunday the body of Carlos Muñoz Portal, 37, was discovered inside his car last Monday September 11 on a dirt road near the state of Hidalgo, which currently has the highest murder rate in the country. His car was embedded in dirt and he had been shot several times.
Muñoz was in the area scouting locations for season 4 of the acclaimed series, which chronicles the highs and lows of the DEA’s ongoing battles with the drug cartels of Latin America. Where Narcos’ first three seasons dealt with such Colombian cocaine kingpins as Pablo Escobar and his rivals in the Cali Cartel, season four was to depict the ascent of Mexican traffickers, including the infamous Juárez Cartel.
While police have yet to confirm a motive, a friend of Muñoz’ told El País he had a camera and was taking pictures to send back to Netflix, actions which may have raised suspicions with the local criminal element. "Maybe they thought he was collecting information and they started tracking him in a car," he surmised. Hidalgo is one of a number of Mexican states that have seen a rise in cartel violence over the past several years, including 182 murders in July alone, according to Yahoo News.
Muñoz grew up in the state of Puebla, Mexico and his first professional film job was as a talent scout on the Denzel Washington action thriller Man on Fire, which was shot in Mexico City. He went on to work on Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, Fast & Furious 4, and the James Bond film Spectre. Netflix released a statement following the announcement of his death, saying, “We are aware of the death of Carlos Muñoz Portal, a respected location manager, and offer our condolences to his relatives. The facts are still unknown as authorities continue to investigate what happened.”