Who is Pacho Herrera?
Helmer ‘Pacho’ Herrera is the most violent and fascinating of the four Cali godfathers.
He is a rare gay character in the series, who flaunts his sexuality in the face of those who disprove and shuts down homophobia with menacing violence.
In the first episode of season three, Pacho arrives at a club where a rival druglord, Claudio Salazar, is sat.
He buys Salazar a bottle as an apparent gesture of goodwill, before taking to the dancefloor with his male companion.
Pacho sensually dances and kisses the young man directly in front of a clearly uncomfortable Salazar.
When he has finished making his point, he picks up the bottle from Salazar’s table and smashes it over his head before dismembering him with the help of his crew and four motorcycles.
Alberto Ammann, who has played Pacho since season one, said that the sequence was designed to show how much power the character holds.
“It was a way to show how crazy this guy could be and a little dessert before the kill,” he told Complex.
“When you saw the girls and guys watching the couple dancing and kissing, there’s so much in their looks.
READ MORE: NARCOS SEASON 4 RELEASE DATE
“Nobody laughs or moves a hair because they know this guy is terrible and very violent and he’s doing this for respect and to shut up everyone.”
In real-life, Pacho was openly gay.
In his book on Colombia’s drug cartels, José Guarnizo described him as “one of the few homosexuals who climbed high in the pyramid of the Mafia”.
Just as in Narcos, Pacho “looked as if he had just stepped off the pages of GQ”, LA Weekly wrote in a review of William C. Rempel’s Cali Cartel biography.
The book revealed that Pacho “lived in an all-white compound with white marble floors, white walls and ceilings, and white leather furniture” and “oversaw the most brutal wing of killers in the entire cartel”.
Where is Pacho Herrera now?
Pacho was the last of the Cali kingpins to be captured, evading police until September 1, 1996 when he turned himself in for a reduced sentence.
He was given six years and eight months imprisonment for drug trafficking charges, which was later extended to 14 years.
Two years into his sentence, Pacho was shot dead as he played football in the yard by Rafael Angel Uribe Serna, who entered the maximum security prison posing as a lawyer.
The gunman had been a friend of Pacho’s for years and was a frequent visitor to the prison.
He claimed that he had killed Pacho because he had threatened his family, however it is widely thought that he was acting on the orders of a rival cartel.
Will Pacho Herrera be in Narcos season 4?
Season three ended with the four Cali kingpins behind bars, and season four is set to move on to a new cartel.
Pêpê Rapazote, who plays Chepe, has said that the story will “go back in time” to “focus on the early days of Mexican cartels, Juarez”.
However the show’s future looks uncertain after the tragic death of location scout, Carlos Muñoz Portal, who was found shot dead in a violent region 60km from Mexico City.
Netflix said in a statement: “We are aware of the passing of Carlos Muñoz Portal, a well-respected location scout, and send our condolences to his family.
“The facts surrounding his death are still unknown as authorities continue to investigate.”
Pedro Pascal, who played Pena, also paid his respects to Portal and warned that the series could not continue unless producers could guarantee the cast and crew’s safety.
“We can’t do it if it’s not safe, we’re talking about lives,” he told TMZ.
“If they want to do it they’ll figure it out in a safe way.”