Narcos: Who is Gacha? Is Gacha based on a real person?

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Narcos is still airing on Netflix and the crime drama series tells the story of drug cartels in Colombia. The series sees the rise and fall of drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar (played by Wagner Moura), and it looks at his relationships with other cartel leaders. Fans are wondering whether the character Gacha (Luis Guzman) is based on a real person and has everything you need to know.

Who is Gacha in Narcos?

Gacha’s full name is José Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha and he was one of the founding members of the Medellín Cartel, along with Escobar.

He is also known as El Mexicano, and his character was first introduced in the episode called Descenso – the first episode of season one.

His final appearance was in the episode called Explosivos, which is the sixth episode of the first season.

In the series he had a son called Freddy Rodriguez Celades (Jair Arango Meneses), and he was killed after being shot.

He is played by the well-known Puerto Rican actor, Luis Guzmán, who is known for his roles as sidekicks, thugs and policemen.


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The award-winning actor is also an executive producer, and he has a large number of TV and film credits under this belt.

He took on a main role as Hector Contreras in the series Perpetual Grace, LTD and he was known for his role as Jesse Salander in Code Black.

His character of Gacha in Narcos was known for being ruthless, and was not afraid to kill someone if they got on the wrong side of him.

Gacha’s son Freddy was killed by Colombian soldiers and it left Gacha heartbroken – but his anger led him to his own death.

He tried to take down a helicopter which killed his son, but he ended up getting shot in the process.

Is Gacha based on a real person?

Yes, fans may be interested to hear Gacha’s character was based on the real-life José Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha, who was a Colombian drug lord.

He was one of the leaders of the Medellín Cartel, working alongside Escobar and the Ochoa Brothers.

The drug lord became one of the most impactful drug dealers and he featured in Forbes magazine in 1988 as one of the world’s billionaires.

He decided to start within the drug business in order to make more money and he was introduced to the ‘queen of cocaine’ Verónica Rivera de Vargas.

She then introduced him to Escobar and he started to find his feet in the drug-trafficking business.

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He was known for having an obsession with all things Mexican, which was how he was given the nickname El Mexicano (The Mexican).

Gacha would direct cocaine trafficking operations through Panama and the West Coast of America.

He died in December 1989, aged 42, having fought against the Colombian government, Cali Cartel and the DEA.

A total of 22 policemen had boarded helicopters and flew to El Tesoro – Gacha’s hiding place.

They asked him to surrender but Gacha and his men were disguised as farm workers, and they waited for police to leave.


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The group eventually tried to escape having jumped inside a truck, but Freddy was killed during a shootout with the aircraft.

Another helicopter had been following Gacha, who had escaped into a banana plantation, but started firing a machine gun at the helicopter.

Police then opened fire and he was shot by the helicopter gun. Thousands of people attended his funeral which was held on December 17, 1989.

He has been portrayed in a number of TV series, including Escobar, el Patrón del Mal, in which he was played by Colombian actor Juan Carlos Arango.

Gacha was also played by Juan Sebastián Calero in the series Alias El Mexicano in 2013.

Narcos is available to watch on Netflix now

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