Is Bandidos based on a true story?

Bandidos is an action-adventure series that follows a group of misfits on the hunt for a hidden Mayan treasure. The Mexican series is now streaming on Netflix.

A hustler named Miguel puts together a team to search for a centuries-old Mayan treasure when he comes across a map left by Francisco de Montejo, a Spanish conqueror. 

He, along with two fellow conquerors, is supposed to have acquired the treasure of a Mayan king and left the map to guide his descendants to the hidden treasure. 

Miguel and his group are not the only ones looking for the treasure. A famous archaeologist and some dangerous people also seek it. 

The show sees Miguel’s group solving mysteries, looking for clues, and contending with danger to find the greatest treasure that no one has ever seen.

The real-life references in Bandidos

Bandidos follows the fictional adventures of Miguel and his group, but the show includes enough references to real-life people and places to blur the line between fiction and reality.

For instance, Octavio is portrayed as a member of the Pink Panthers, which is a real-life international network of jewel thieves.

In addition, Aj Took, whose treasure Miguel’s group searches for, is allegedly the last monarch of Calakmul, the city that was ruled by the Kingdom of the Snake or Snake Kingdom, also known as the Kaan Dynasty.

The dynasty reigned for most of the Classic period, with Calakmul standing as one of the largest and most influential ancient cities ever unearthed in the Maya lowlands. 

Miguel’s group visits a pyramid at Calakmul, which stands today as an archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico. 

When the site was first rediscovered, it was reported to archaeologist and epigrapher Sylvanus G. Morley, who is also mentioned in the show.

Miguel’s group goes to the city of Calakmul

Additionally, the three Spanish conquerors—Francisco de Montejo, Alonso de Ávila, and Pedro de Alvarado—who took Aj Took’s gold in the show are also real-life historical figures. 

They served as captains in an expedition organized by the governor of the island of Cuba, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, and, among other things, explored the eastern and western coasts of the Yucatán Peninsula. 

Francisco de Montejo and Alonso de Ávila also played roles in the conquest of Yucatán and were involved in the founding of several towns in the region.

Another historical figure that the show references is Juan de la Cosa, a cartographer who created the earliest European world map depicting the newly discovered territories of the Americas.

Lastly, Ariel mentions the Mayan Hero Twins, a prominent myth found in the Popol Vuh, one of the most well-known Mayan texts.

Also Read: The hidden treasure in Bandidos explained

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