The showrunner behind Netflix’s hit drug drama Narcos has something to say about Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The upcoming fourth iteration of the series is titled Narcos: Mexico and chronicles the rise of the first Mexican cocaine cartel in the early 1980s.
When EW recently spoke to writer-producer Eric Newman about the project, at one point we discussed the drug war in general, and how it can be fixed.
“We’ve gone about this the wrong way for a long time,” Newman says. “We continue to treat [drug use] as a law enforcement issue when we should be treating it as a healthcare crisis in the United States and a humanitarian crisis elsewhere. As long as demand of drugs exists — and the United States is the largest market for illegal drugs in the world — you’re never going to have a shot at attacking the supply. The supply is a product of the demand, so it stands to reason that’s where we should focus our efforts. And not locking up people who use drugs. People who use drugs need help, they don’t need prison.”
Then the conversation shifted to Trump’s border wall, which has been criticized for many reasons, budgetary, symbolic and pragmatic (planes, for example, still exist, and most undocumented immigrants initially enter the country legally).
“You know, there’s a lot of talk about building a wall — which is stupid in so many ways,” Newman says. “But what really blows my mind is the idea that a wall will curtail the flow of drugs into the United States. You know where you can find a lot of drugs everywhere? … Prison. And prisons are surrounded by walls. If there’s a will there’s a way. Its very simple, supply and demand.”
“This season is about the rise of the Guadalajara cartel, which was Mexico’s first super cartel, in that it was a union of smaller chapters that joined up under Felix Gallardo, and partnered with the Mexican government to become the first nationwide drug cartel,” Newman says. “The law enforcement story is the story of Kiki Camarena — who is law enforcement’s first DEA martyr in the drug war and perhaps [represents] the beginning of the drug war entering American consciousness. These two men collide with disastrous results with implications that continue to plague us today.”