Somos is a Netflix drama series that covers the lives of a group of fictional individuals who are all inspired by true stories.
The six-part series takes place in the months preceding up to the 2011 tragedy in Allende, a Mexican ranch town near the US border and the state of Texas.
“The characters in Somos. present a different side of a subject we’ve seen so many times on TV.
Instead of the narco or the cop with the gun, we focus on the extra in the corner,” explains James Schamus, series creator and executive producer.
“The folks hovering about the screen’s edges are the people at the heart of Somos…
In this series, you’ll learn what matters to a young adolescent, a mother, a firefighter, and a rancher.
Regardless of the approaching tragedy, we want those things to be significant to you [the viewer].”
Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about the real-life inspiration for Somos.
What is the true meaning of Somos?
The “untold storey of Allende,” Coahuila, a Mexican hamlet near the Texas border, is told in “Somos.”
In March 2011, one of Mexico’s most deadly gangs massacred the community in retaliation for a DEA infiltration (Drug Enforcement Administration).
The series is based on the ProPublica investigation, which contains several written and oral statements from witnesses, Allende locals, local officials, the DEA, and members of the Zetas cartel.
The killing was “triggered” by a DEA operation gone awry, according to the investigation: investigators were able to obtain “trackable cellphone identification numbers for two of the cartel’s most sought kingpins, Miguel ngel Trevio and his brother Omar.”
However, the information was later released after the agency’s possession of these numbers was shared with Mexican police.
The cartel exacted vengeance on the Trevios after they found they had been betrayed.
Homes were looted and set on fire. Those kidnapped and slaughtered included men, women, and children, whose remains were burned. Emergency personnel received 250 phone calls in a single day, however interviewees featured in the report claim that no one ever appeared to assist them.
Due to their ties to the cartel, a single family, the Garzas, has lost nearly 20 members, including an 81-year-old mother and a seven-month-old baby, both of whom are believed to be among the dead.
Series creator and executive producer James Schamus revealed why the on-screen characters in Somos. are fictional, despite being inspired by real-life testimonials, in a Netflix blog post.
“Although Somos. is based on true events, it is primarily a work of fiction.
We didn’t want Allende residents to be concerned that we were misremembering or misrepresenting genuine persons. As a result, we selected aspects from a variety of stories and used them to build new characters to act out and expand on them. Everyone in Allende will be able to see themselves and their neighbors in the series in this way. But we believe that by adding to their – and our – shared reality through these fictions, we might help that reality become a bigger part of the conversation,” he added.
“It is not by chance that the majority of key creative leaders on the series are women,” he continued, “because it was primarily women who spoke most fearlessly in [ProPublica journalist] Ginger Thompson’s oral history, and women who continue to lead the effort to memorialise and account for the events on which Somos. is based.”
The exact death toll is still unknown, according to the ProPublica investigation, with estimates ranging from 300 to 28 individuals dead (the official number).
No one has been charged with murder in connection with the massacre.