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This Article Contains Spoilers - WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.

Synopsis

The history of cartel don Hector Salamanca from Breaking Bad.

Backstory

Hector was born in 1939, and at an unknown point in time, founded the Juarez Cartel alongside Eladio Vuente and Juan Bolsa. He has at least four nephews: Tuco, Marco, Leonel (known together as "the Cousins"), and Eduardo "Lalo". He also has an unseen child, and a grandson called Joaquin. His mother is presumably Tuco's Abuelita from the first season of Better Call Saul. At an unknown point in time, he was imprisoned in San Quentin State Prison for seventeen years, and refused to cooperate with the authorities for the entire time he was locked up.

Despite his infirmity, he was a high-ranking member of the Juárez Cartel and was referred to as "Don Salamanca" by other cartel leaders like Bolsa. When his nephews were children, he taught them brutal life lessons such as "family is all" by nearly drowning Marco until Leonel punched him in the face.

In 1989, he, Eladio and Bolsa were visited by Gustavo Fring and Max Arciniega, who proposed a partnership where the two will cook and sell meth for the Cartel. Hector, who previously mocked Gus for being a South American and his potentially-romantic relationship with Max, shot the latter on Don Eladio's orders as punishment for selling meth to his people. He then forced Gus to look at Max's corpse and mocked him about his death was his fault. Gus would gain a massive hatred for the Cartel afterwards and mostly Hector for being the one who pulled the trigger, and Hector seemed to be the only one to notice this.

Don Eladio would still accept Gus' offer and start working with him. Over the years, he and his chicken restaurant chain Los Pollos Hermanos would start making much more money than Hector ever did, making him envious of how quickly Gus gained Eladio's favour, in comparison to Hector, who has been working with Eladio since the beginning of the Cartel - Especially because the Salamancas are responsible for "this whole business", as Hector claims. He would eventually start an ice cream shop called Sabrosito, but it would only be mocked by Eladio due to its mascot and how successful Hermanos is when compared to it.

Better Call Saul

Season 2

Hector meets Mike Ehrmantraut at a diner, after Tuco is arrested for assaulting Mike. Hector tries to bribe Mike into lying to the police that the gun that Tuco dropped was Mike’s. When Mike says no, Hector sends several of his men to intimidate Mike into accepting the offer, but he always deals with them quickly. This eventually culminates in Hector sending the Cousins to threaten Mike's granddaughter Kaylee. After that, Mike meets up with Hector again, and agrees to the offer, but demands more money. Hector tries to threaten Mike, who responds by saying he would kill him even if he died himself just seconds afterwards. Hector, who found new respect in Mike due to his "giant balls", agrees as long as Mike will claim the gun is his.

Mike would then start to attack Hector's drug operation. During this, he rob one of Hector’s trucks of $80,000, and leave the driver tied up in the desert, but alive. A good samaritan would see the driver, Ximenez, tied up in the desert and saved him, but Hector killed the man in response due to being a witness. When Mike learns about this thanks to Nacho Varga, he is wracked with guilt and plans to kill Hector as revenge. He would follow Nacho to where Hector and the Cousins are, preparing to kill Ximenez. However, he's accidentally stopped by Nacho by positioning himself in front of Hector, preventing Mike from killing him with his sniper rifle. When Mike tries to go again, he's interrupted by a car honking, which he would soon realise is coming from his car. He gets back to it, and sees a note on the windshield, with one word written on it: "DON'T".

Season 3

It turns out the man who stopped Mike was none other than Gus, who believing that a bullet in the head would have been "far too humane".

Having run out of ways to continue his operation thanks to Mike, Hector visits a Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant in search of Gus, and holds the employees (and temporarily the customers, too) hostage with the help from Nacho and Arturo Colon until Gus arrives. Hector demands that the Pollos trucks will now smuggle his drugs, and once Gus explains that there isn't enough space in them, he claims that Gus should make some.

Later on, Hector would force Nacho to beat up Krazy-8 due to coming short of his payment. When Nacho goes to meet up with Gus' men as part of an arrangement between him and Gus, he demands to take one more package then he was supposed to (on Hector's orders), and Gus' men agree, much to Hector's disappointment as he expected a different reaction. Eventually, he would ask Nacho if he can talk to his father, Manuel, so he could use his business as a front for his operation. Around the same time, Tuco would stab both an inmate and a police officer in prison, extending his sentence and putting him in solitary confinement, much to Hector's anger. He then takes his heart medication to calm down after having a coughing attack, and drops one of the capsules to the ground, which Nacho would steal as part of the plan to take out Hector for his father's safety.

Meeting up with a man named Daniel Wormald, Nacho buys a few empty pill capsules from him and fills them with ibuprofen, depriving Hector of both his medication and increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The next day, Nacho and Hector would meet up in the same place as usual to do their transactions with dealers. At one point, Hector takes off his coat, giving Nacho the perfect opportunity to switch Hector's pills. He distracts him with a dollar bill by claiming it "looks funny". Nacho removes Hector's pill bottle from his coat, before dropping both it and the money on the ground. Once he finished gathering the money, Nacho keeps the pill bottle with him, and switches Hector's pills with the doctored ones. While going to get Hector more coffee, he tosses the bottle with doctored capsules into the coat's pocket.

Some time later, Hector and Gus all meet up in one place on Eladio's orders. Hector learns that Eladio wants all his drugs to be smuggled using only Gus' distribution network. Hector has another anger attack, takes Nacho's swapped pills, cursed out Eladio, Bolsa and practically everyone present, and leaves the scene without any effect; Something Nacho witnesses as one of Hector's two bodyguards, alongside Arturo. Afterwards, he would meet up with Manuel and try to make a deal with him, but the man tells him to get out. He would then tell Nacho he doesn't trust his father, which makes Nacho go to desperate measures to protect his father.

However, before he can do anything, another meeting happens between Gus, Hector and Bolsa, with Nacho once again being a bodyguard. Bolsa claims that Don Eladio is reinforcing his orders regarding Gus' operations. Hector angrily tells off Bolsa, claiming that Eladio can suck him off, and that the Salamanca Family is responsible for the entire business with both their money and blood, being the ones who paid for Eladio's hacienda, only to be treated like dogs by the Cartel. Claiming it's personal between the Salamancas and the Cartel, Hector suffers another attack and takes his pills again, only to fall over to the ground once Nacho's pills kick in. Gus, not willing to let his archenemy die that easily, performs CPR on him while ordering Bolsa to get out before the paramedics arrive. Hector is taken by an ambulance, while Gus starts having suspicions about Nacho.

Season 4

Gus sends a doctor of his, Barry Goodman, to check up on Hector. Barry claims that Hector is no longer comatose, although it's still unknown how long would it take for him to wake up or if he will be aware of his surroundings. Deciding that this would make it unable to fully finish his revenge plan, Gus hires a doctor from John-Hopkins to make sure his arch-enemy will recover. The doctor decides that they will start telling positive things to Hector while he's asleep as a way to stimulate his brain. Later on, Gus reveals to Nacho that he's fully aware that Hector's stroke is his fault, and that now, he is his. Even later, Gus would tell Hector a story from his childhood, that would both symbolize and foreshadow their relationship: One day, he caught a coati that had been eating his fruits in a trap, and instead of killing it, prolonged its suffering after seeing it injured a leg.

Many months later, Hector awakes, and until he regained the ability to talk, would communicate by tapping his finger: One tap means "yes", no taps means "no". He would eventually purposefully knock over a cup of water so he could stare at a nurse's ass. Gus, seeing this on a tape, decided that Hector is conscious enough for him to exact his revenge, delegating Hector's care to someone else, despite the doctor's protests that with enough luck, he might learn how to talk and walk again.

He is then sent to Casa Tranquila, a nursing home, where he would be visited by Nacho and his nephew Lalo. Lalo gives Hector a bell as a reminder of how they once tortured a hotel proprietor and burned the hotel for disrespect. In fact, the bell was from the hotel, which Lalo purposefully went back into while it was burning to have a reminder of the event. He ties the bell to Hector's wheelchair, allowing him to ring it instead of simply tapping his finger.

Season 5

Lalo visits Hector to discuss a new project of Gus' that he learned out. He doesn't believe Gus' fake story about how he's building a new chicken refrigerator facility, and doesn't like the fact Bolsa and Eladio believe him. He would then give Hector some liqour before leaving. He is then seen again a few episodes again, where Lalo decides to visit him one more time before fleeing from Mexico. He claims that soon, Don Eladio will be sick of Gus, and reminds him that Tuco will be released in eleven months. He then leaves once again, leaving Hector to attend a fellow resident's birthday party, much to his anger.

Season 6

Following the Season 5 finale, Hector receives news that Lalo has apparently been killed during an assassination. However, a day or two later, he receives a phone call from the still-alive Lalo, who reveals that he faked his death and that Gus is responsible for the assassination attempt. Through playing a game with Hector on the phone, Lalo understands that his uncle asks for any evidence. He tells Hector that he has one piece of evidence, and that he will see him in person soon.

Afterwards, Hector is visited by Gus and Bolsa, who claim that although Lalo and the former haven't been on the best terms, they are still both Don Eladio's men, and that an attack against one Cartel member is an attack against all, promising that they will find Nacho, who is believed to be responsible for Lalo's "death". Hector and Gus then shake hands, and when the latter sees the former smile, he realises that Lalo is still alive.

Several days later, Hector, Bolsa and the Cousins have a meeting with Gus, Victor and Tyrus Kitt, who bring an injured Nacho to them. Nacho "admits" (actually lies) that he was working for a Peruvian cartel lead by a man called Alvarez, and Hector knows he's lying. He angrily rings his bell and points at Gus, and Nacho laughs at him for believing it was "the chicken man". Nacho then starts ranting about his hatred for the Salamancas and how he would've had Lalo killed for free. And to put salt in the wound, reveals it was him that put Hector in the wheelchair by replacing his medication with sugar pills, telling him that for the rest of his life, Nacho will haunt his memories, finishing it off by calling Hector a twisted fuck. He then puts a gun to Bolsa's head before shooting himself, ending his own life. After a few seconds of silence, Hector rings his bell in victory, before the Cousins carry his wheelchair to Nacho's corpse so he could start spitefully shooting it.

A few weeks later, Hector gets another call from Lalo. He tells his uncle that he doesn't have any evidence despite searching for it, and that he's going for Plan A: Simply trying to kill Gus. Hector rings his bell, not agreeing with the plan, but Lalo hangs up. Unknown to him, this was all part of Lalo's plan; He knew Gus bugged the phone line, and lied to throw him off-track.

Between the Shows

Eventually, a newly-released Tuco would come pick up Hector from Casa Tranquila to his house in the desert.

Breaking Bad

Season 2

Tuco kidnaps Walter White and Jesse Pinkman to his house in the desert, where Hector resides. Seeing that Walt poisoned Tuco's burrito, he warns his nephew about it by ringing his bell. This leads Tuco to believe that Hector simply wants a bigger burrito, giving it to him. Hector throws it to the floor, with all his might. Hector would later gain Tuco's attention by rapidly ringing his bell. He would then communicate with his nephew by ringing his bell, telling him he does not trust Walt and Jesse. The three men leave Hector alone in the desert as Tuco assaults Jesse until Walt admits they tried to poison him, culminating in Tuco being shot in the gut by Jesse, and then killed by Hank Schrader once he arrives on the scene, looking for Jesse.

During the investigation of Tuco's deaths, Hector is brought to a DEA office so he can confirm if Jesse was there in his house when Tuco died. Hector, refusing to cooperate with the DEA even when it's about his family's death, defecates on the floor. Steve Gomez confirms this later on, by claiming Hector spend seventeen years in a prison without saying a word to the authorities.

Season 3

After crossing the border into New Mexico, the Cousins seek out their Tio in Casa Tranquila, where he has been moved to given that there is nobody else to take care of him. The Cousins take a Ouija board from a pile of board games, and Hector uses his bell to spell out the letters of Heisenberg's real name: Walter White. Now knowing who the man that killed their cousin is, the Cousins prepare to kill him, only to be stopped by one message that simply reads "POLLOS". The Cousins go visit Los Pollos Hermanos in response.

Afterwards, Bolsa, Gus, Hector, and the Cousins have a meeting. He explains to Gus that Hector saw Tuco as a son and groomed him to take his place in the organization, and that Tuco's death is why Walt needs to die: Something Hector agrees with. When Gus says that he needs Walt alive for the time being, Hector is visibly angry.

Season 4

In a flashback, we see how Gus paid a visit to Hector following Bolsa and the Cousins' deaths. He mocks Hector about how they died, how he was responsible for it, and how the Cartel cannot interfere due to the heat caused by the Cousins' actions. He points out that this is revenge for Max by claiming that "this is what comes of 'blood for blood'". He would then visit Hector again, telling him that Hank, the man who killed Tuco, is looking into Gus' past before telling him to look at him; Something Hector refuses to do.

In Mexico, Gus murders all the major members of the Cartel with poisoned tequila, including Don Eladio. After returning to New Mexico, Gus and Jesse visit Hector to announce that the Cartel has been wiped out, all while dangling Eladio's amulet necklace in his face. He also reveals that Jesse killed Joaquin, which means that now, Hector Salamanca is the last of his kind. Gus places the necklace in Hector's shirt pocket before leaving.

In the season finale, Walt learns about Gus and Hector's rivalry thanks to Jesse and Saul Goodman. Seeing this as his chance to kill Gus before he kills his family, Walt visits Hector and says that, even if Hector hates him, they have a common enemy. The two team up, and Hector demands to talk to the DEA, more specifically to Hank Schrader. However, when he arrives, he says nothing other than cursing Hank out, telling him to suck him off.

However, the fact that Hector visited the DEA at all prompts a visit from Gus, who now believes that Hector is an informant and that he needs to die. He makes his henchman, Tyrus Kitt, inspect Hector's room to make sure there are no bugs planted by the DEA. Gus and Tyrus enter the room together, where the former mocks Hector for being a "crippled little rata", and that being the reputation he will leave behind, not the one of a powerful cartel don. As Gus prepares to inject Hector with a lethal medication, he realises that Hector is finally looking at him, with his expression being the one of sadness. He then gives Gus an angry glare before starting to repeatedly ring his bell. Gus looks at Hector's wheelchair and realises that a bomb has been planted there by Walt. Before he can do anything other than scream, the bomb explodes, destroying the room and killing both Tyrus and Hector instantly, reducing the latter to nothing but one leg. Gus walks out of the room alive, although missing half his face, and adjusts his tie before falling over, dead.

While he might have died, Hector Salamanca succeeded in avenging both the Cartel and the entire Salamanca clan, all while rendering Gus' twenty years worth of planning and revenge pointless, ultimately winning in the end.

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