The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas has announced a temporary new exhibition titled “Rise of the Cartels: International Drug Trafficking in the Americas.”
Located on the first floor of The Mob Museum the exhibition explores the history of international drug trafficking in North and South America, with information about famous drug lords like Pablo Escobar, as well as an architectural model of the Mexican prison and tunnels that trace the escape route for drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. It also takes a look at the facts versus fiction in the Netflix television series “Narcos” and “Narcos: Mexico.”
Also in the exhibition are artifacts on loan from four different retired Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) special agents who battled the cartels in Colombia and Mexico from the 1970s-1990s. Select items on display were provided by two former agents, Steve Murphy and Javier Pena, who helped take down Escobar and whose work inspired the “Narcos” series. These artifacts include original documents, photos, badges, awards, clothing, a firearm, and other objects directly tied to the agents’ battles with drug cartels. In addition, a video montage will feature original photos form Murphy and Pena’s personal collection.
Other items in the exhibition were provided by former special agents James “Jaime” Kuykendall and Pedro “Pete” Hernandez, who were stationed in Guadalajara, Mexico in the 1980s and worked closely with special agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed by Mexican cartel members in 1985. Kuykendall is a major character in “Narcos: Mexico.”
The exhibition also features artifacts from the Mob Museum’s own collection, including a rare original copy of a commemorative leather-bound book of political cartoons that Escobar published not long before his death.
To plan your visit and purchase tickets in advance, visit TheMobMuseum.org.