The shocking true story behind Netflix series Narcos

Netflix original series Narcos has taken the Internet by storm, but what’s the grim, true story behind one of the world’s most famous criminals?

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by Closer Staff |
Published on

If you have a Netflix subscription, then chances are you have stumbled upon original series Narcos.

But behind the ‘glamour’ and the dramatic plot line lies a disturbing reality about drug smuggling, and the use of pregnant drug smugglers.

First of all, who was Pablo Escobar?

-Pablo Escobar helped found the Medellin Cartel, supplying and smuggling drugs around south America, the US, Canada and Europe.

    **Smuggling and drug mules


    In the first episode of Narcos, we learn how the cartel smuggled cocaine to Miami from Colombia.

    During one memorable scene, a group of women is lined up before cartel member as he explains exactly how they will smuggle pockets of drugs into the US.

    He tells some of the woman that all they have to do is simply dip the bags in oil and swallow them, taking in 50 at a time.

    He then turns to two pregnant smugglers and instructs them to swallow 70 on the grounds that authorities won’t search them due to their condition.

    Predictably, one of the expectant mothers dies after arriving in Miami after accidentally absorbing over 12 grams of cocaine during the smuggling endeavour. Her baby also tragically died.

    Though this is told in a fictional capacity, there is an all too painful truth behind tales such as this one.

    Escobar's cartel encouraged many people to risk their lives in order to smuggle cocaine (Netflix)

    In reality, smugglers prefer to use pregnant women as mules since rules against x-raying expectant mothers mean that they are spared the rigorous searches used in airports.

    On top of this, drugs have reportedly been smuggled in the bodies of dead babies as they are carried through airport security. Truly horrific.

    Cartels would offer thousands of pounds to expectant mothers to smuggle cocaine into the US, and as we see in Narcos, manipulate them into thinking that they are doing what is right for their children in the long term.

    Aside from risking their lives, expectant mothers who work as drug mules also run the risk of being imprisoned for several decades should they be caught. Some countries also carry the death penalty.

    Such circumstances mean that the child may end up in the care system should they not have a suitable guardian to care for them whilst their mother serves her sentence.

    Drug smuggling involves many risks, and the tragedy it can lead to (as seen in Narcos) is a deterrent to avoid such a lifestyle.

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