In light of the death of Carlos Muñoz Portal, a location scout for the Netflix hit series Narcos who was shot and killed in Mexico, Hollywood Reporter spoke with Pablo Escobar's brother Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria.
Gaviria, who was the former accountant and "chief of the hitmen" of the Medellín Cartel, is currently demanding $1 billion from the streaming platform, claiming the show wasn't authorized to use his brother's likeness and story. One year before Narcos premiered, Gaviria founded Escobar, Inc. and filed for "successor-in-interest rights" for his brother in the state of California.
Gaviria said he and his attorneys are "in discussions" with a "scared" Netflix to meet his $1 billion demand. If the streaming platform fails to meet his demands, Gaviria said "we will close their little show."
When asked if it's too dangerous for Narcos to film in Mexico, or the show's former location, Colombia, Gaviria said that if the project is about either him or his brother, they should seek out his permission first. "I don't want Netflix or any other film production company to film any movies in Medellin or Colombia that relates to me or my brother Pablo without authorization from Escobar Inc," he said. "It is very dangerous. Especially without our blessing. This is my country."
If Netflix wants to continue to test the waters and film in Mexico without approval from Escobar Inc., Gaviria offered a solution. "If you have the intellect, you don't need to use weapons," he said. "If not, you have to. In this case, Netflix should provide hitmen to their people as security."
Gaviria continued, "You see, we own all the trademarks to all of our names and also for the Narcos brand. I don't play around with these people in Silicon Valley. They have their phones and nice products. But they don't know life and would never dare to survive in the jungle of Medellin or Colombia. I have done that. Their mothers should have left them in the womb. That is what we tell people like this if they come to Colombia."