Gangs of Galicia: Is Ana Gonzalez Soriano Based on a Real Lawyer?

Ana Gonzalez Soriano’s arrival into the small but criminal town of Cambados jumpstarts the events in ‘Gangs of Galicia,’ as the lawyer strategically crosses paths with Daniel, the heir to the Padin drug cartel. The recent death of the protagonist’s father, Jose Silva, revealed to her his secretive past revolving around drug lords and betrayals. Consequently, after suspecting the Padins to be behind her father’s death, Ana attempts to penetrate the gang’s defenses through Daniel and reap her awaited revenge. Yet, reality turns out to be much more complicated as the duo find themselves drawn into each other’s magnetic orbit.

As the show follows Ana and Daniel’s characters alongside the various residents of Cambados, it presents an entertaining blend of drama and crime-fuelled storylines. Notably, the show’s portrayal of criminality retains heavy ties to the reality of the Spanish criminal underworld. In fact, Ana’s backstory seems to parallel an infamous incident within a Galician drug cartel, which might compel the viewers to wonder about her character’s origins.

Ana Gonzalez Soriano’s Storyline Remains Largely Fictitious

‘Gangs of Galicia’ collects partial inspiration from a real-life event that transpired in the Galician crime circles during the 1990s. For the same reason, its central crime family, The Padins, also end up holding parallels to the real-life Spanish drug cartel involved in the previously mentioned incident. Consequently, since the show translates real-life references through a lens of fictionalization and dramatization onto the screen, it holds intricate ties to reality. Nevertheless, some aspects of the show remain more fictionalized than others. Ana Gonzalez Soriano is a narrative element whose characterization references reality without her storylines holding real-life counterparts.

Ana’s story begins with the death of her father, whom she knows as Jorge Gonzalez, the owner of a sailboat business. Thus, his mysterious death at the hands of unidentified assassins presents a puzzling picture. Eventually, she discovers that her father— real name, Jose Silva— had been living a secret life in witness protection after escaping from Galicia’s Padin crime family. Silva was a trusted part of the same cartel until he sold the patriarch out to the cops and moved cities to start a new life. Therefore, Ana suspects the Padins’ involvement in his murder and moves to their hometown. Therein, in an effort to get closer to Daniel, she takes care of the law side of his business as the cartel’s attorney.

The same remains the basis for Ana’s storyline, with her various interpersonal relationships, motives, and goals stemming from the same series of events. Although her character doesn’t relate to reality in its entirety, a significant part of her story finds its basis in the altercation between drug kingpin Manuel Charlín Gama and Manuel Baúlo. In 1990, the Galician law enforcement launched Operación Nécora, which focused on the drug business thriving in Galicia. Although the cops weren’t able to convict Charlín on their own, Baúlo’s collaboration with the authorities armed them with the testimony that led to the drug lord’s extended imprisonment.

However, Baúlo’s decision to snitch on his own gang resulted in a fatal end for him. On September 12, 1994, Colombian hitmen attacked his house and shot him dead. His wife, Carmen Carballo Jueguen, who was with him at the time, sustained severe injuries and emerged from the traumatic experience with paraplegia. Thus, unlike Silva, who retains inspiration from Baúlo, the latter never got the chance to go into witness protection and lead a second life. Therefore, while he left heirs in his death, none found themselves on a similar path as Ana.

The Similarities Between Ana and Baúlo’s Son

Even though there isn’t a direct real-life counterpart behind Ana’s character, one can find a few points of convergence between her and Manuel Baúlo’s son, Daniel. Unlike the on-screen lawyer, Daniel was born from Manuel’s marriage with Carmen in Galicia. Although the same creates a more noticeable parallel between him and Laura, Daniel’s involvement with the drug trafficking business and Charlín’s gang renders him a possible inspiration for Ana as well. After his father’s death, Daniel followed in his father’s footsteps and became a notable player in the Galician underworld.

Throughout his life, the authorities detained Daniel on a number of occasions, and he even received a prison sentence of more than 17 years in 2008. Furthermore, according to Fardo De Vigo, a Spanish news outlet, Daniel also married Charlín’s niece, the daughter of his brother, José Benito Charlín. Consequently, even though Daniel and Ana retain their differences, they end up sharing a few similar beats. Thus, the latter remains distinct enough from Baúlo’s real-life son to cement her as a largely fictitious character. Still, a few instances in her storyline seem to reference Daniel.

The Realism Behind Ana’s Profession as a Lawyer

For the most part, Ana’s connections to the real-life Manuel Baúlo inform her backstory and motive more than her actual character construction. Even so, her presence within the crime-driven narrative as a lawyer retains considerable authenticity to reality. Despite Ana previously excelling in a corporate law career, she finds herself switching gears as her revenge plot compels her to enter criminal circles. As such, her profession significantly molds her character, allowing her to occupy a natural space within Daniel’s world of criminality while maintaining some distance from the nitty, gritty details of it.

In order to ensure realism within the same facet of her storyline, the show’s creative team, including screenwriter Jorge Guerricaechevarría, sat down and conversed with actual lawyers who had experience working with criminals and/or drug lords. Consequently, the real-life input farmed from these interactions allowed Ana’s character to maintain an increased sense of reality despite her fictitious origins. Ultimately, sharing nuanced ties to reality, Ana remains confined to the show’s fictitious elements while sustaining a few inspirations in real life.

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