Far from portraying reality, the narcoseries are contents that stylize and disguise the conditions of thousands of people who work for drug trafficking and negative effects they have on the communities affected by the violence generated by: disappearances and forced displacements, torture, murders, kidnappings, among others.
In the first episode of the series the queen of the south, created by Roberto StopelloTeresa Mendoza -played by actress Kate del Castillo- finds out about the death of her partner El Guero Davila (Rafael Amaya), character based on the Sinaloan drug trafficker Hector Luis Salazar El Guero Palma, and runs away from home taking only a photograph and money.
In the next episode, Teresa meets the mobster Epifanio Vargas, played by actor Humberto Zurita. The character of Kate del Castillo she wears only a beige plus size shirt and heels during the match. She is perfectly fit and even tanned.
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Could these details have been real within the story or they are a hook for the audience? doA woman fleeing hit men would run away in high heels Or does it only serve to show us the aesthetics of the protagonist? Were the protagonists of this criminal narrative so handsome? None of this seems credible but it serves the producers of the series to make it profitable.
This is one of the problems with narcoseries, contents that their producers justify their existence with the argument of making a reflection of realitybut if they faithfully show what happens in the drug world where violence, death, massacres, torture and social decomposition they have real consequences in the lives of families, they would not be a commercial product, sociologist and lawyer Elvira Cedillo told us.
Even the protagonists of these series they do not fall within the general phenotype of the Mexican nor of what we see in the real photographs of members of organized crime, but they are bleached and embellished, the specialist told us.
“The problem is that when they affirm this, that they are making a reflection of reality, they do it based on hypersexualized, hyperviolent stereotypesbut they do not project that reality that they defend so much, because they do not reflect the human costs that corruption and drug trafficking have in Mexico”, the specialist told us.
This type of series that partially reflects reality with actors and actresses within the hegemonically acceptable aestheticThey are also reproducing behaviors and patterns that are not necessarily those that occur in real life, the interviewee explained.
“What does not happen, for example, is that there are children and adolescents who are being co-opted by drug traffickers in a forced manner in some areas such as the western and eastern mountains in Mexico, they receive almost torture-type training to be part of these groups of hitmen,” the sociologist told us.
All consumption around the narco they have a very high human cost that would hardly be commercializable in a series if they were shown in a real way. These products have to be aestheticized, make them more attractive, explained Elvira Cedillo.
These contents have an impact on the imagination of the population that is mostly influenced by drug trafficking operations in their states, Adela Cedillo, a historian, professor and researcher at the University of Houston, told us.
“There is no doubt that the calls narcoseries they have a social impact to the extent that they normalize the phenomenon of the criminal economy and usually present drug traffickers as with features that may appeal especially to a young audience“, specific.
Among these features we can see the defiance of authority, instant social mobility, luxury, power and the possibility of having one or multiple partnersall this in an easy way, almost without effort, he detailed.
The influence of drug series needs other elements to recruit young people
Historian Adela Cedillo explained to us that it is It is risky to assume that young people, out of mere aspiration, are going to be mechanically hooked in this type of activity only for consuming products that treat or enhance the lives of drug traffickers.
“There what counts most is the community and local context in which they are found. This is ultimately what makes it easier or harder for them to join organized crime. More likely when family, friends, neighbors, school or co-workers are already involved in the business and that happens in all social classes”, the historian told us.
He also stressed that one of the problems is that only to poor or marginalized people they are stigmatized because they have a strong financial need. Nevertheless, in reality someone poor does not instantly rise in the hierarchy of organized crime, that is a kind of illusion.
“The elite of these criminal groups comes from family and political relationships that have existed for decades, that is very clear in places like Sonora, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Durango, Guerrero, Jalisco and Tamaulipasto name the most emblematic”, Adela Cedillo told us.
The problem with series is not that they favor recruitment but that they generate a generalized context of normalization and even social acceptance towards this type of activitiesended the interviewee.
The narcoseries may not be the only problem why Mexican youth see drug trafficking as a possibility to overcome their own economic conditions, but the way in which they have been presented responds more to the commercial interests of the producers than to the representation of the situation of violence that drug trafficking has caused in our country.