Tune in for an overview of the series that covers true stories coming directly from the South American drug cartels – trailers included! (Photo by Colin Davis on Unsplash)

Looking to see how ruthless the cartels in South America are? Netflix has done a great job of putting together true life events and dramatizing these true stories into series – with some embellishments of course!

It began with Narcos, and the topic is now back on the agenda as the makers of Narcos and Narcos Mexico have been at it again with the latest 2024 release of Griselda trending on Netflix. The famous quote about Griselda Blanco, where one of her lovers Charles Cosby said “The only man who ever scared me was Griselda Blanco“.

Love them or hate them, these remakes of real-life events in the movie show all the angles of how the 80s and 90s drug cartels from Colombia and Mexico rose. In the end, we know most of the ruthless villains like Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, Pablo Escobar, the Rodríguez Orejuelaand brother, and El Chapo generally get what they deserve. Yet, despite knowing the outcome from history that still doesn’t make these series any less entertaining!

In this latest post coming from Filmzie’s team of movie buffs, we’re onto famous Netflix shows that cover Mexican and Colombian drug cartels.

Griselda: January 25, 2024

Griselda – Official Netflix Trailer

Griselda Blanco was a real piece of work. Known as The Black Widow or Godmother on the streets, this infamous lady basically created the Miami drug trade as we know it today. She smuggled major cocaine into Florida using everything from lingerie to dead babies as mules. Her distribution pipelines then flooded the rest of America with coke, making her a boatload of money in the process.

But Blanco wasn’t your typical greedy drug lord. This woman was flat-out sadistic. She allegedly murdered her own husbands in cold blood. And that’s just her familia. Estimates peg the body count from her merciless career at over 200 kills. All that bloodshed earned her near-mythical status on both sides of the law as some kind of ruthless queenpin.

1 Season (Total Episodes: 6)

Narcos – Release Date: August 28, 2015

Narcos – Official Netflix Trailer

Narcos sucks you into the violent, dangerous world surrounding drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel.  The show doesn’t shy away from the killings and corruption that allowed Escobar to gain power and evade authorities for years. It is a riding shotgun as DEA agents Javier Peña and Agent Steve Murphy pursue an elusive target.

Escobar’s larger-than-life persona and the cartel’s extreme tactics are jaw-dropping. But what I appreciated was the show didn’t treat anyone as one-dimensional. The writing makes viewers consider the conditions in Colombia that gave rise to someone like Escobar. The producers also deserve credit for the risks they took filming on location in areas still vulnerable to cartel violence.

Season 3 shifted to the Cali Cartel, and the cat-and-mouse game continued as agents targeted stealthier cartel leaders with Javier Peña the leading DEA agent and star of the show.

Seasons: 3 (Total Episodes: 30)

  • Season 1: 10 episodes
  • Season 2: 10 episodes
  • Season 3: 10 episodes

Narcos: Mexico – Release Date: November 16, 2018

Narcos Mexico – Official Netflix Trailer

The Netflix hit Narcos: Mexico offers a dramatic look at the early days of Mexico’s current drug war crisis.

Back before El Chapo and the cartel chaos we know today, Mexico’s drug trade was mostly a scattered, mom-and-pop operation. That is until Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo muscled the small-timers into one mega-cartel under his control. Diego Luna plays the narco godfather Gallardo in the show. We see his meteoric rise to power through cunning and ruthlessness in the 1980s. His growing empire threatens stability on both sides of the border.

The show’s first season culminates with Gallardo brazenly ordering the murder of beloved DEA agent Enrique Kiki Camarena. This shows Gallardo feels truly untouchable while setting off a powder keg within the U.S. government to crack down. In later seasons, Gallardo loses control as internal strife splits his cartel into competing factions like Sinaloa and Tijuana. All the while, law enforcement struggles to contain the firestorm of violence Gallardo has unleashed.

Gritty and fast-paced, Narcos: Mexico draws viewers into the human stories behind the bloody history still haunting Mexico today. Fact and fiction blend into a sobering tale of greed’s terrible costs.

Seasons: 3 (Total Episodes: 30)

  • Season 1: 10 episodes
  • Season 2: 10 episodes
  • Season 3: 10 episodes

Queen of the South – Release Date: June 23, 2016

Queen of the South – Official Netflix Trailer

The drama series Queen of the South hooked viewers when it debuted on USA Network back in 2016. It’s a gritty adaptation of the popular Spanish novel La Reina del Sur that airs on Telemundo.

At the heart of this show is the protagonist, Teresa Mendoza. We meet her as a poor woman struggling to survive in Mexico. She falls for a drug cartel member, hoping he might lift her out of poverty. But her dreams crumble when he’s killed.

Teresa flees to America, fearing the cartel will come after her next. This catalyzes her into the drug world, where she makes a name for herself as a savvy, ruthless businesswoman. Against all odds in the male-dominated narco trade, Teresa brilliantly claws her way up to become the reigning Queenpin they call Queen of the South.

We witness her incredible rise to power. But also the nonstop threats she battles from rival cartels, law enforcement, and enemies lurking at every turn. All while wrestling with the blood on her own hands.

Seasons: 5 (Total Episodes: 62)

  • Season 1: 13 episodes
  • Season 2: 13 episodes
  • Season 3: 13 episodes
  • Season 4: 13 episodes
  • Season 5: 10 episodes

El Chapo – Release Date: April 23, 2017

El Chapo – Official Netflix Trailer

This Netflix show tells the dramatic story of Joaquín Guzmán, the infamous drug boss known as El Chapo. Dropping in April of 2017, this series comes from a collaboration between Univision and Netflix. It starts by looking at Guzmán’s beginnings working in the 1980s Mexican cartels. Then it follows his violent rise to eventually leading the mighty Sinaloa Cartel himself.

Through the show, we get a reporter’s eye-view into how Guzmán ran his powerful drug empire across borders. We also see how he dodged the law through daring prison escapes. His criminal career spanning decades, El Chapo also depicts his final takedown, extradition to the U.S., and conviction.

Leading the cast is Marco de la O, playing the man himself – Guzmán. The show wraps up after 3 seasons, chronicling this kingpin’s dealings with cartel partners, officials he corrupted, and the forces that eventually arrested him. Though more drama than documentary, El Chapo aims to unveil the grim truth about this drug lord’s dark empire.

Seasons: 3 (Total Episodes: 34)

  • Season 1: 9 episodes
  • Season 2: 12 episodes
  • Season 3: 13 episodes

Free Movies and Paid Subscriptions Brings Movie Entertainment to Your Living Room!

Binging Netflix series for those that have a subscription has become a fad since the company pretty much replaced high street DVD rental shops like Blockbuster Movies. Remember that name? It went bust, and that’s because you can easily rent movies online from Amazon Prime or simply grab a Disney Plus or Netflix subscription.

There are also plenty of free movie sites like Filmzie, where you’ll find classic films from across the globe. A and B-movie productions, and you don’t have to a penny because the Filmzie free app is available on your mobile or via your web browser with no subscription required. Simple click and watch ladies and gents!

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