They took out our border, now they're taking out our location scouts for hit Netflix shows.
According to Variety, Carlos Muñoz Portal, a location scout for Netflix's hit series Narcos — whose credits also include the likes of Sicario and Spectre — was shot to death in central Mexico, near what is considered the country's most violent region, while out viewing landscapes for the show.
"Muñoz’s bullet-riddled body and car were found in a remote area near San Bartolo Actopan in the state of Mexico near the borders of Hidalgo state, which is said to have one of the highest murder rates in Mexico," reports Variety. "In July, 182 cases of homicide were reported in the densely populated state, a ratio of 12.2 for every 100,000 inhabitants."
Netflix has since been made aware of the news. The network sent condolences to Muñoz’s family.
“We are aware of the passing of Carlos Muñoz Portal, a well-respected location scout, and send our condolences to his family," Netflix said in a statement. "The facts surrounding his death are still unknown as authorities continue to investigate."
Authorities say they've had difficulty completing any investigation into Muñoz's murder because witnesses refuse to cooperate. They do not know if Muñoz was intentionally targeted, or simply fell victim to the region's gang violence.
Season 4 of Narcos will focus on the rise of Mexico’s infamous Juarez cartel. In previous seasons, the show focused on Columbian cartels, promulgated by notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. Netflix has not announced whether it will shutter production in Mexico or return to Columbia.
Muñoz’s horrible death comes at the height of cartel violence in Mexico, when, the State Department says, even tourist hotspots like Cancun and Los Cabos are unsafe for travel. Fox News profiled the growing danger back in August:
In January, a lone gunman entered the trendy Blue Parrot nightclub in the upscale Mexican resort town of Playa del Carmen and opened fire. Chaos ensued as the crowd scrambled for cover as the gunman traded shots with another man inside the club and security working the annual BPM music festival tried to suppress the melee.
When the bullets stopped flying in what is believed to be a drug cartel-related gunfight, five people were dead – including a Canadian bodyguard caught in the crossfire and an American teenager who was trampled to death as panicked partiers fled the club.
On Sunday, sunbathing tourists were forced to take cover on the white sand beaches of Los Cabos – a popular getaway at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula – as gunmen unloaded and left three people dead.
These two incidents bookended a bloody eight months for the resort towns of both of Mexico’s coast, heightening concerns that the country’s ongoing drug war could leave more tourists dead and threaten Mexico’s multibillion dollar tourism industry.
The moral of this story: stay away from Mexico.