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Major spoiler warning for Narcos: Mexico.
If at any point during your viewing of Narcos: Mexico, googled Kiki Camarena, then it’s too late. You already know how the story ends for this person. In the recent finale of Narcos: Mexico we see Kiki Camarena, the DEA agent who has a relentless can-do attitude and the spirit of a Boy Scout, ends up dead at Guadalajara.
Like most of this show Narcos: Mexico’s finales are a blend of truth and creative liberties. We’re left with many questions about what each other character is doing. But one thing we can be quite certain about: Kiki’s fate inevitably sets up what’ll be an even bloodier next season.
In this light, we’re going to take some time to answer some simple questions that many of us have.
The first is what happened to Kiki Camarena? Since his 1981 arrival in Guadalajara, he’s been working to crack down on the Guadalajara Cartel. Eventually there was a breakthrough which led to Camarena and the assist of a pilot named Alfredo Zavala Avelar to locate Rancho Bufalo. That location housed a 1,344-acre plantation where the cartel grew their marijuana. That plantation was soon seized in 1984 when the DEA tipped the Mexican Army that that was where they were located. At the time, it was the largest seize of marijuana in history.
However because of that it led to Camarena’s own downfall as one of the members of the Cartel, Tenoch Huerta in the show, was angry and ordered Camarena to be abducted. That abduction was further emphasized in the shown when we see that the DFS intelligence unit wants Camarena taken out of the picture too.
And that is exactly what happened. On February 7th, 1985, Camarena was abducted, interrogated and tortured. And in the finale we see Camarena and Gallardo having a man-to-man confrontation before seeing Camarena’s body along with the pilot’s body in a farm in Michoacan.
Another question that many watchers may have is what exactly is Operación Leyenda. After all, the finale is called “Leyenda.” To clear things up, the finale first gave us a new DEA. It’s suggested that the DEA is now imbued with a power that Camarena wish he had. What the DEA was capable of doing now is to assemble a task force. This task force is called Operación Leyenda which translates exactly to Operation Legend. The name of the episode is simply a nod to this task force that’ll certainly be changing the history of the DEA.
And we can see that already in action as the DEA today has the same practice. Their message back then is just as clear as now: Thinking about harming any agent and we’ll turn your entire world upside down.
The last question we want to answer is what exactly happened to Felix Gallardo? After that last conversation he had with Camarena, Camarena issued a prediction to Felix. “You fucked up, man.” What exactly does he mean? Well Camarena knew that Gallardo staked his entire empire under the impression that the government and DFS will protect him. Under this protection, Gallardo can get away with anything, but everyone knew if that protection was gone, Gallardo would be nothing.
This is exactly what’s revealed into the finale as Camarena’s death leads to the entire enterprise unravelling and revealing that the DFS was entirely corrupt. This leads to an all out internal war with members of the cartel fleeing. Felix does get caught, however with the help of six investigation tapes that Camarena had – with two of them containing Camarena naming high-ranking officials that are corrupt – Felix was able to get free. From there he regained control over the cartel and gain protection of the government as well.
In the end, the finale reveals that the cat-and-mouse game we’ve been following has changed drastically. This shift comes in the form of the dynamics of the game. Felix is down two leaders and managing a slightly crippled cartel, and his opponent clearly has some teeth.