The true story behind Teresa Mendoza, Kate del Castillo’s character in “La reina del sur”

In recent years, the productions about the world of drug trafficking have gained popularity, having series from “Breaking Bad” to “The Lord of the heavens”. Many of these television programs have been inspired by real characters, as is the case of Amado Carrillo under the identity of Aurelio Casillas. Therefore, it is suspected that what happened in “Queen of the South” it is also based on real life.

The Telemundo soap opera premiered in 2011, where they presented Kate del Castillo like Teresa Mendoza, a woman whose boyfriend ran a drug trafficking organization. Being killed and her hunted down, he decides to form her own criminal network.

After three seasons, the adventures of this character have been developing and captivating the public. As a consequence, it became one of the channel’s most successful series, despite the fact that His most recent installment did not have the expected number of audiences.

The series created by Roberto Stopello is based on the homonymous book by Arturo Pérez-Reverte and some people say that the protagonist is based on someone who is still alive. Find out who it is here.


It is speculated that the character of Teresa Mendoza, the protagonist of “La reina del sur”, is based on Sandra Ávila Beltrána Mexican drug trafficker Known as “The Queen of the Pacific” .

Sandra Ávila Beltrán is a former drug trafficker and is currently quite active on Tik Tok (Photo: Sandra Ávila Beltrán / Instagram)

Nor does the drug layer seem to believe it, because in August 2022, complained to the distributors of the series, Netflix and Telemundoa percentage of the royalties for using his image without his consent, which amounts to 40%, according to a report from .

It is a direct affectation to your image”, said Israel Razo Reyes, a lawyer for Ávila Beltrán, to the aforementioned outlet.


Sandra Ávila Beltrán was born in Mexicali, Baja California, on October 16, 1960. Unlike her fictional character, she was born into a family of smugglers from Sinaloa, which is why she was surrounded by drug lords from a very young age.

He quickly rose to power, thanks in part to his physical appearance, but also to his incredible intelligence and business savvy.

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