- The Dipp -Is La Voz Newspaper From 'Narcos: Mexico' Season 3 Real?
In its final season, Narcos: Mexico showcased just how deep corruption runs not only in the drug cartels, but also within the Mexican government. Meanwhile, even the DEA is shown to use tactics like torture in order to get the answers they want. But in a world where there doesn't seem to be any real good guys, the journalists at La Voz emerged as beacons of hope in Season 3. Their very existence confirmed there are decent people fighting the good fight in Mexico and beyond — but is La Voz even real?
Narcos: Mexico makes it clear in the opening moments of each episode that it's inspired by real events, but sometimes the names of people and organizations are changed for dramatic effect, legal reasons, or even for their own protection. That's the case with La Voz. The newspaper where Andrea Nuñez works is fictional, but it has an obvious real life inspiration.
On the show, the paper's editor Salgado is seen going to great lengths to ensure his staff can effectively report on cartels, drug traffickers, and corruption within the government by printing his paper in San Diego, which ensures he doesn't have to use paper from mills owned by the government. Then, later in the season, when his reporters come under attack, he removes bylines from the articles, which takes the heat off individual journalists and puts it squarely on his own shoulders.
Salgado's actions and the general storyline of Season 3 which focuses on La Voz investigating the Arellano Félix family makes it clear the paper is inspired by Zeta Magazine, one of Mexico's most renowned news sources. Founded in 1980 by Jesús Blancornelas, Héctor Félix Miranda, and Francisco Ortiz Franco, the magazine is one of the only outlets in Mexico that runs articles on organized crime, government corruption, and all the ways the drug trade has infiltrated the highest offices in the country.
Blancornelas, who was known as "the spiritual godfather of modern Mexican journalism" before he died in 2006 at the age of 70, routinely put his life on the line to report the truth and expose as many members of the cartels, as well as the politicians in their pockets, as possible. Just like on the show, an assassination attempt was made on Blancornelas' life in 1997 after he published an expose on the Arellano Félix cartel, per The New York Times. His driver died as a result of the attack.
However, Blancornelas didn't back down. He continued to run stories about the cartels and political corruption until his death in 2006, and his legacy continues as Zeta Magazine is still published today. In fact, the magazine's current co-editor, Adela Navarro Bello may be the inspiration behind Andrea. Navarro Bello was working at the magazine at the time of the 1997 assassination attempt on Blancornelas, and she has continued to fearlessly tell the stories other outlets avoid in her tenure as editor.
In 2007, Navarro Bello won an International Press Freedom Award, and gave the following remarks during her acceptance speech: "We will continue to do our work, to investigate, to seek the truth. But we are not heroes. And, no, we are not suicidal either. We are professionals who want to respond to the needs of an informed society. There is a need out there to know more, to follow the actions of the government carefully, and to keep an eye on political parties and social groups. And people need to know more about the group that stands between government and society – this group being organized crime."
While Zeta, Blancornelas, and Navarro Bello aren't mentioned by name in Narcos: Mexico Season 3, it's clear the work they've done in pursuit of bringing the truth to light for the people of Mexico is honored through the fictional newspaper of La Voz and its employees.
Images: Juan Rosas/Netflix