It’s a tragic case of life imitating art—a scenario that might seem over-the-top if it were scripted. But in Mexico truth often out-stranges fiction. And so it is with the mysterious case of Carlos Muñoz Portal, a location scout for the Netflix series Narcos who was found shot to death under unexplained circumstances last week along a nameless dirt road in Mexico State.
Muñoz, 37, was an industry veteran who had worked on several blockbuster productions filmed in Mexico, including Sicario, Man on Fire, and Apocalypto.
Then came the painful denouement. Muñoz and his car were found riddled with bullets in a rural region of the Temascalapa municipality, near a village called San Bartolomé Actopan about 40 miles northeast of downtown Mexico City. The community sits less than two miles from the border with Hidalgo state, which the Mexican government touts as a success story in its war against the cartels. (Even so, 11 people, including a public security official, were hacked to death with knives during a gang attack on a children’s birthday party in Hidalgo this year.)