Narcos season 4: Who is Isabella? Is she based on a real person?

Narcos: Mexico season one came out in November 2018 on Netflix with the second following in February 2020. The show follows on from parent series Narcos, which ran for three seasons and was set in Colombia with drug lord Pablo Escobar as its focus. Narcos: Mexico moves the action to a new nation and charts the rise of the Guadalajara Cartel, its leader Félix Gallardo (played by Diego Luna) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as they tried to take him down. 

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Narcos: Mexico

Narcos: Mexico season one was led by Luna and Michael Peña as DEA agent Kiki Camarena.

Bit also boasted a stellar cast of actors, most of whom are portraying real-life people who were involved with the events at the time.

However, some characters were added to the story for narrative and dramatisation purposes.

One such character is Isabella Bautista who is played by actress Teresa Ruiz.


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Who is Isabella Bautista in Narcos: Mexico?

Isabella Bautista is a fictional character who appears in Narcos: Mexico.

She is the girlfriend of Félix Gallardo in the series.

Isabella is based on the real-life Sandra Ávila Beltrán, a cartel leader who is also known as La Reina del Pacífico“ (The Queen of the Pacific).

Netflix describes Isabella as a “shrewd negotiator who wants Félix to recognise her value to the cartel”.

Speaking about her character, showrunner Eric Newman said: “This season we have been able to explore the trafficking world from the vantage point of a number of different women who find them thrust into this relentlessly patriarchal society.

“They are partners and consiglieres more than they are lovers and wives this year.

“Sometimes their own ambition brings them into dangerous conflict with our narcos.

He added: “I like to think they show the men this season how much tougher they are.”

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Who is actress Teresa Ruiz?

Teresa Ruiz is a 29-year-old actress from Mexico.

She is also known for playing Nadia Basurto in the political thriller Here on Earth.

Speaking about playing Isabella in this season of Narcos, Ruiz told ETonline: “I think we’re still learning how to write roles for women with power.

“And the writers and creators were very careful. They really wanted to make a character that had power, had her own voice and was going to fight for it.


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“But at the same time, we can’t forget that this character is not a hero. She is a criminal. So to talk about an empowered female who is a criminal, I just had to explore a lot of the ambition.”

She added: “I began to discover how women in the ‘80s in Mexico were.

“They were wild and unapologetic, and I started to see, not just a lot of her, but of Mexican women in the 80s.”

Narcos: Mexico was renewed for a second season and aired in February 2020 with Teresa Ruiz reprising her role. 

Narcos: Mexico seasons 1 & 2 are streaming on Netflix

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