“Real drug dealers are uglier and smell worse”

“Real drug dealers are uglier and smell worse”
“Real drug dealers are uglier and smell worse”

Police officers give their opinion on ‘Clans’, the popular Netflix series: “Real drug traffickers are uglier and smell worse”Luis Rendueles

Three million people from all over the world They watched an episode of “Clans”, the Netflix series, in three days about Drug trafficking in GaliciaIt is the most watched non-English speaking series on the platform (in the United States it is called “Gangs of Galicia”). Among those spectators there are some anti-drug policewho explain to Prensa Ibérica’s investigative and news channel the differences between fiction and reality. “The drug traffickers that we pursue They are uglier and smell worse“says a veteran police officer who was in Galicia during the toughest years of drug trafficking, reflected in the series.

“The drug traffickers we pursue lead shitty lives. The protagonist of the series, David Pérez Lago, had good days, with luxury cars and dating a Miss Salamanca, but he has spent half his life in prison,” explains a police officer.

“To the drug traffickers They like to appear in series like this one. It gives them glamour, cachet,” says another researcher, who adds the only thing he doesn’t like about the series starring Clara Lago and Tamar Novas: “Sometimes it seems that it is worth entering that world for parties that get intothe seafoodluxury cars… It’s not like that, Real drug dealers lead shitty lives“They are always looking back because they know we are there.”

“Inspired by true events”

The Serie Clans has, say the police consulted by this medium, a good job of documentation. In the first chapter it is explained that it is “inspired by real stories and events.” The anti-drug agents know this is so. The character of Clara Lago, the protagonist, It is based on the true story of Tania Varela.

In fiction, Lago is a young lawyer who arrives in Cambados after the murder of his fathera repentant Galician drug trafficker. There he meets a young man, played by Tamar Newson of a drug lord, based on another real person, David Pérez Lago“uglier than the actor,” as the police say, with whom she begins a stormy relationship.

Site Miñanco, too

In the series, the father of that young man has traits of Miñanco siteone of the great drug lords in Galicia, currently in prison. Thus, he works in a parking lot in Algeciras while he has to go to sleep in the jail of that city of Cadiz as part of his last sentence.

In the reality, Tania Varela was a young and promising Galician lawyerborn in Cambados, who ran the Municipal Information Centre for women victims of gender violence. She met David Pérez Lago, stepson of the drug lord Laureano Oubiña and they had a relationship.

David ended up in prison in 2008 after an operation by GRECO (Groups for Response against Organized Crime) of the National Police (“Fucking fucking Greco,” says one of the drug traffickers in the series) in which 2,000 kilos of cocaine were seized.

The Netflix series collects the work of the GRECO Galicia national policea unit created in 2006 to continue fighting drug trafficking and its clientele networks in the Galician economy. “Galicia was going to hell “In the nineties,” explains one of the police officers who passed through the GRECO, “the drug people paid political party campaignsentered institutions, companies, the Chamber of Commerce…”

The work of the police and judges, also of some mothers of drug victimsstopped the “social penetration” of drug traffickers. The figures of the GRECO, “fucking GRECO” they say in the Netflix series, speak for themselves. Until December of last year they had seized One hundred tons of cocaine and arrested people from the most important clans, such as The Piturros, the Baulos, the Charlines, the Patocos, Sito Miñanco and even a couple of drug dealers who They call God.

They always have pending to stop some drug dealer wanted. And, above all, the moby dick, the The last white whale of Galician drug traffickingwho has become a businessman and has a sweet name. They don’t forget him.

A vital Louis Vuitton

Tania was released and began a romance with a lawyer, Alfonso Diaz MonuxThe man was killed on December 18, 2008 when he was driving his car to the garage of his house in Madrid. Tania was in the passenger seat, but she survived, she said, because She bent down to pick up a Louis Vuitton bag which had fallen to the ground when the gunman approached the car.

In 2013, before her trial, in which she was sentenced to seven years in prison for money laundering, Tania Varela fled from justiceShe became one of the most wanted fugitives in Europe, passing through Sweden and Italy. She was arrested in 2018 in a park in Sitges (Barcelona) where she went with her son. She is finishing her sentence in Brieva prison (Ávila). She will be released in 2026.

Operation Myth

Her ex-boyfriend, David Pérez Lago (Tamar Novas’ character in the Netflix series), served time for that cocaine operation and was released. But in 2017, fell again, in Operation Mito, where the GRECOs recovered more than 4,000 kilos of cocaine. This time he was working for Sito Miñanco and the two returned to prison, where they remain.

“It is true that David had his good days, he went out with a Miss Salamanca and he drove luxury cars, but he has spent half his life in prison,” concludes one of the police officers who has arrested him on occasion.

David Pérez Lago and Tania Varela, drug traffickers on whom the Netflix series is based.

Repentant and others

The Netflix series includes other characters based on real people. It mixes their stories. It talks about the Padín clan and repentants and protected witnesses. Of old customs of drug traffickers, such as burying money in the woods. “In those years everyone kept money in the woods, underground. In many surveillances we saw how They bought drums and containers for humidity“To put the bills in and bury them inside so they wouldn’t rot,” recalls a GRECO Galicia police officer.

The series also talks about the sacrifices of the policemen who pursue them and of some corrupt civil guards. Of the snubs of the drug traffickers, who go so far as to pay for drinks to plainclothes agents in a nightclub so that they know that they have “bitten” (identified) them when they were following them. “That has not happened to me, they have not paid me for drinks or anything, but yes, some early mornings when we were following them through bars They have come to see us andThey greeted us”admits one researcher.

Bloodless adjustments

The series also covers reprisals, the law of silence and the settling of scores between drug traffickers. Something that is no longer done with bullets in the real world. “The last settlements with blood were in 2005,” explains a police officer, “now they have become more practical. If someone fails, they force him to work for them in another operation.”

Almost four years ago, the journalist of Vigo Lighthouse Angel Martinez wrote the first Narcos History for this vertical of events and investigations of Prensa Ibérica. In that report, he stated that Tania Varela’s story had all the ingredients to “become the protagonist of a Netflix story.” It already is. Every day hundreds of thousands of people watch it. Among them, the children of real police officers. “Is that you, dad?” one of them asks him. The man answers no, that the one in the series must be another police officer: He is thinner and much younger than him.

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