If you have finished binge-watching Narcos Season 3, you are probably wondering about the real Hélmer “Pacho” Herrera. Was the Cali Cartel boss really gay? How did he die? We will discuss some of the facts surrounding Pacho.
There are spoilers for Season 3 of Narcos ahead.
About two years after surrendering to the Colombian authorities, Pacho Herrera was shot to death during a soccer game as portrayed in the finale of Narcos Season 3.
An assassin posing as a lawyer entered the prison and fired six rounds into the Cali boss with bullets hitting his head and abdomen, according to a 1998 article by the Washington Post. The assassin was identified as Rafael Angel Uribe Serna and claimed that he killed the Cali Cartel boss because he threatened his family. However, Serna’s claims were scripted and Pacho was likely killed by the North Valley Cartel in a revenge plot.
Pacho Herrera is a rarity in the Narco trade as he was an openly gay man. Bustlereports that the real life Pacho Herrera was gay, proud, and lived an extravagant lifestyle funded by his billionaire status. The details about Pacho’s personal life is based on the reporting of LA Weekly journalist William Rempel, who wrote the book At the Devil’s Table: The Untold Story of the Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel.
Rempel describes Pacho on his website as a man who fit the gay stereotype and who was a ruthless gangster. Herrera controlled the most brutal wing of the Cali Cartel division of hitmen known as sicarios. He had a genuine passion for soccer and reportedly built professional soccer pitches for his personal use.
Had Pacho survived, it seemed like he could have gotten away with his life as a narcotic trafficker. American authorities failed to extradite the Cali boss and he got a short sentence of about six years.
There are not many pictures of the real Pacho Herrera. However, in the video above you can see the Cali boss turning himself in after being the last cartel boss to evade the authorities. Herrera is wearing a fashionable suit as he explains to the press why he is turning himself in.
Pacho will be shot dead in prison about two years after that video was taken.
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[Featured Image by Theo Wargo//Getty Images]