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Narcos: Mexico’s Amado Carillo Fuentes Is Still Alive – Theory Explained

Warning: the following contains SPOILERS for Narcos: Mexico.

Narcos: Mexico‘s Amado Carillo Fuentes, played by actor Jose Maria Yazpik, is presumed to be dead – but some speculate that Amado is actually still alive. Also known as “El Señor de Los Cielos” (The Lord of the Skies), Amado became the richest of the veteran drug lords hailing from the notorious Guadalajara Cartel, also known as La Federacion, Mexico’s first narco union. As the jefe of the Juarez Cartel in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Amado worked with other narcotraficos like his uncle Ernesto “Don Neto” Fonseca Carrillo (Joaquin Cosio), Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo (Diego Luna), Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura), and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman (Alejandro Edda), eventually amassing an estimated personal net worth of around $25 billion.


During the finale of Narcos: Mexico season 3, which doesn’t leave much room for Narcos: Mexico season 4, the narrator explains that on July 4, 1997, Amado underwent a plastic surgery procedure to alter his appearance and escape the law. This resulted in complications that led to Amado’s death on the surgical table. However, in the very last scene of Narcos: Mexico, Amado’s girlfriend, Marta Venus Caceres (Yessica Borroto), is shown at a seaside villa, where Amado promised to see Marta after settling his business in Mexico. And there, Amado’s small toy plane is seen lying on Marta’s grand piano. Amado never gave this object to his girlfriend, and it never left his side. This suggests that Narcos: Mexico‘s Amado Carillo Fuentes is still alive.

Related: Breaking Bad: Why Gus Warned Hank About The Cartel Hit

Plenty of drug lords and persons of interest have evaded capture by faking their deaths before — or at least speculatively. Since Amado Carillo Fuentes died oddly, and considering how powerful the drug trafficker was, it’s easy to imagine that he simply escaped the consequences and is hiding out somewhere. Here’s how Narcos: Mexico‘s Amado Carillo Fuentes could’ve cheated death.

How Amado Carillo Fuentes Survived Narcos: Mexico Season 3

Fuentes watches as the military approaches his plane to arrest him in Narcos Mexico

This theory is rooted in the facts surrounding Amado’s death. After Amado died, the DEA observed the identification procedures at the funeral home where Amado’s body was being held, leading the agency to confirm his death. Amado was also mentored by Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, who was known for organizing La Federacion’s comprehensive bribery network. This means that Amado, who was worth $25 billion, could’ve simply bribed Mexican officials and DEA agents to confirm his death, which would’ve allowed him to roam free and assume a new identity. If this is true, and he had help from Gallardo’s La Federacion, the body found in the hospital wasn’t Amado. The plastic surgery story was just used to justify the differences between Amado and his body double – many of which were pointed out by witnesses who saw Amado’s supposed corpse. Also, there is very little paperwork regarding Amado’s death, and the potential causes range from malfunctioning equipment to the side effects of certain medications.

Did Amada Carillo Die In Real Life?

Although there’s no proof that Amado is still alive, the fact that Amado was Mexico’s most resourceful narcotrafico, as shown in Narcos: Mexico season 3, has led many to speculate about the suspicious and vague circumstances of his death. Moreover, on November 7, 1997, the two doctors who performed Amado’s plastic surgery procedure were found dead inside steel drums. Their bodies were encased in concrete and showed signs of torture. On the one hand, this could’ve been the work of the Juarez Cartel, as revenge for inadvertently killing their boss, confirming Amado’s death. On the other hand, Amado could’ve simply covered his tracks by getting rid of anyone who could point him to the authorities. In fact, in the 1999 book From Navolato I come: biography of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, journalist Jose Alfredo Andrade Bojorquez writes about how many of those who’ve suggested that Amado is still alive have disappeared. Later that same year, Bojorquez himself disappeared, further fueling rumors that Amado is not only alive but is also somehow responsible for these disappearances.

How Accurate Was Narcos: Mexico?

Starkman and Jurado driving in Narcos

Narcos: Mexico was relatively accurate compared to the true story — even when covering Amado Carillo Fuentes’ death. The real-life Amado Carillo Fuentes was born on December 17th, 1956, to Walter Carillo Vega and Aurora Fuentes. Amado was a part of an expansive family, as he had 11 other siblings. His uncle, Ernesto Fonseca Carillo, was the leader of the Guadalajara Cartel, which is how Amado entered the drug trafficking business. He brought in as many of his brothers as he could, until his sibling Cipriano Carillo Fuentes died in 1989 under strange circumstances. The Guadalajara cartel wasn’t the only gang he worked for. Amado also had ties with Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartel (smuggling cocaine from Columbia), the Beltran Leyva organization, El Chapo, and the Arellano Felix family. Amado did die on the surgical table, due to complications. At the time, he had garnered some heat from the government, and to avoid capture, he decided to change his appearance. That didn’t work out so well for the drug lord, as he died at the Santa Mónica Hospital on July 4, 1997 — or so history claims, as many do believe that Amado Carillo Fuentes is still alive somewhere, hiding out.

Related: Narcos: Mexico Updates – What Happened To The Real Rafa Caro Quintero?

Narcos: Mexico’s future Philippines-based spinoff should continue the trend of showing the truth with relative accuracy, even though it’s not set in Mexico. These theories concerning Amado have assured that even if he is truly dead, his story lives on and continues to capture people’s imaginations. Whether or not Amado is still alive, there’s no doubt that he left an indelible mark on the world.

Next: Narcos: Mexico True Story – How The Real Don Neto Won

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