(LA REINA DEL SUR)
Teresa Mendoza was born in Culiacán, State of Sinaloa, on the Mexican Pacific slope. The streets of her home town are a hotbed of moneychangers, drug dealers and crooked cops ready to kill anybody in order to control the cocaine trade between the U.S. and Colombia.
Drug dealers' light aircrafts take off loaded with cocaine and land on the other side of the northern border, thus eluding the U.S. authorities. Mexican mariachis sing their achievements in "narcocorridos" (drug ballads) while Teresa and Güero Dávila, a fair-haired airplane pilot with a large secret agenda and an expert in the fine art of small talk, live their love story among bottles of tequila, saint smugglers, narcocorridos and "bales" of cocaine. Teresa is a quick-witted fragile-looking girl with a stolen childhood, lost honor and universal principles written upon her heart with the fire of guns.
One cannot study the survival instinct; you either have it or you do not, and Teresa has it. She has never wanted to be queen of anything, and maybe this is why she has it. One morning, she was shaving her legs when the phone rang. This was the starting signal for her chase and capture. Güero was dead because he had breached the rules and talked too much, and in Culiacán nobody forgives anything. She was as guilty as him and her fate was sealed; these were the rules of the drug dealers. Now she was about to start running away, a new Teresa Mendoza was about to escape alone with her memories and secrets of a Mexico torn by corruption and drug trafficking. But Teresa comes from a world where when death comes to visit with a smile, you smile back.
Escaping from Culiacán with too many secrets, her life is worthless. Spain is her destination, via Melilla, where she does all she can: manage the money of a small Galician smuggler, Santiago Fisterra, owner of a speedboat, who devotes his time to evading the Civil Guard customs surveillance service sailing between Melilla and the Peninsula, loaded with hashish. Fisterra's past haunts him, and he eventually fails to dodge a moonless night near the Strait of Gibraltar.
In Puerto de Santa Maria, Lieutenant O'Neil, a middle-class, brave, tough and learned Andalusian who is unable to control her fate, introduces Teresa to new worlds of immortal books, to then guide her to a shipment of cocaine that is lost in a cave on the Spanish coast, which will make her become Queen of the South, the cocaine queen of Costa del Sol.
Teresa makes a living out of it, and all those around her that do not understand that cocaine is not an end, not even a means, are killed; cocaine is just cocaine and is worth what people are willing to pay for it. Teresa knows that nobody can buy her, because she has never been for sale, she is free, because the cocaine does not control Teresa; Teresa is the owner of the cocaine.
The news spread across the Atlantic and reach Epifanio Vargas, who one day let a frightened girl escape; a girl who is now a queen and knows too many secrets that could put an end to his ever-rising political career. The mistake he once made in Culiacán will not be repeated in Marbella. But Teresa is not alone or afraid, she has some unfinished business to settle that have to do with Güero, and once he is avenged, she will write the last page of her story sailing the seas that once were hers.