Netflix won’t pay Narco Queen a dime for show based on her life


Kate Del Castillo plays the character based on the life of Sandra Ávila Beltrán in the Netflix series “Reina del Sur”. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Netflix and the Spanish television network Telemundo will not pay “a single penny” to a former Mexican drug dealer for allegedly using her image to promote a series based on her life.

Sandra Ávila Beltrán, known as “La Reina del Pacífico”, hopes to claim a part of the profits obtained by the two companies for the series “La Reina del Sur”, which is based on her criminal career.

After he made his intentions public this week, both companies responded against Ávila’s legal request and said they will not give him money because his story is in the public interest.

“There is a public interest in talking about a person accused of a crime that has brought innumerable violence and victims to this country,” both companies responded through the Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) of Mexico, reported today the Mexican media Milenio.

Ávila’s lawyer, Israel Razo, argued that the companies should pay up to 40 percent of all the income generated by the series during its 11 years of broadcasting, for using Ávila’s image without consent and for their own benefit.

“Both companies acted illegally with the intention of damaging my image and profiting from it,” Ávila reportedly said in a letter sent to the Industrial Property Institute (IMPI) of Mexico.

In April 2019, Telemundo used news pictures of his arrest to promote the second season of the series, which is now streaming on Netflix.

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Neither Netflix nor Telemundo shared the figures of the income generated by the series.

Ávila will now have to follow up on his lawsuit and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation will decide if the companies will have to pay the income to Ávila.

If Ávila receives a portion of the proceeds in cash, it would be the first time a drug trafficker has profited from the use of his image on screen. Such a move would open the door for others to follow, including infamous Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who is the focus of a string of series on Netflix.

“La Reina Del Sur” (the name of the series in Spanish) features Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo playing Ávila Beltrán, which is based on a novel by Arturo Pérez Reverte. reverse has made it clear that his novel is based on Ávila Beltrán, although it includes fictionalized passages.

Ávila Beltrán was allegedly the connection between the Sinaloa Cartel and Colombian cocaine producers. She was arrested in September 2007 by Mexican authorities on charges of drug trafficking, illegal possession of weapons, and money laundering. In 2012, she was extradited to face charges in the United States, after which she was returned to mexicowhere he served more time in jail.

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