Amid the unwelcome glare of the death of Carlos Munoz Portal — a Narcos location scout killed on the job in Mexico City — Netflix must also contend with an ongoing trademark dispute with the family of Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug kingpin dramatized in the Narcos series.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the network is currently in a trademark dispute with Escobar’s brother Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria.
He is demanding a payment of $1 billion USD from Netflix for intellectual property violations. Gaviria also suggested that Netflix isn’t cut out to film in certain parts of Colombia and Mexico, saying it would be worth its time to hire “hitmen…as security.”
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. It is very dangerous. Especially without our blessing. This is my country.
Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria, who worked as “chief of the hitmen” of the drug gang in Columbia, has demanded compensation from the entertainment company for the rights to his family’s story.
Gaviria also threatened to “close their little show” if the streaming giant failed to provide a $1 billion payment to his company, Escobar Inc. for intellectual property violations.
Narcos Productions LLC, the company behind the series, has contested some of Escobar Inc.’s trademark requests, according to documents obtained by THR. Some of Escobar Inc.’s trademark requests relating to the name Pablo Escobar have already been granted, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office database.
Netflix had no comment on the ongoing trademark dispute, Gaviria’s comments or the death of Portal. They released an earlier statement calling Portal “a well-respected location scout” and offering “condolences to his family.”
Pablo was killed off at the end of the show’s second season, and when Roberto was asked about the show’s depiction of his brother, he said, “I don’t discuss my brother’s death. Some people say he is dead. That is all I know. To me he is still alive and my brother.”
Narcos recently concluded its third season story. This time around, the focus shifts from the cartel in Medellin to the one in Cali. We were introduced to them last season but this time, they take the foreground.
Since Escobar’s takedown, Cali cartel too has started considering giving up the thug life. It may be run like a ‘Fortune 500 company’ or Narcos Incorporated with four godfathers at its helm, but even they can feel the DEA noose tighten around their necks.
Some of the drama surrounding Narcos is getting all too real as long as there is a dead body in this story. We will keep you updated with this, so make sure you subscribe to our newsletter.