Teresa "Teresita" Mendoza
- Played by: Alice Braga
The titular Queen. Originally a moneychanger and cartel girlfriend from Culiacan, Teresa's life was forever changed when her boyfriend Guero ran afoul of local kingpin Epifanio, forcing her, her best friend Brenda, and her godson Tony to flee to Texas.
- Driven to Suicide: She contemplates killing herself after Guero is killed.
- Even Evil Has Standards: She's willing to compromise a lot of moral values on her rise to the top, but draws the line at human trafficking. She also forbids her cartel from attacking women and children.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: She starts off as a simple moneychanger. In the Flash Forwards, she is a ruthless crime boss.
- Future Me Scares Me: She has not yet embraced her role as the Queenpin that she sees in her visions.
- Important Haircut: As "Teresita", she wears her hair down and in natural curls. As The Queen, she has straight hair tied in a severe bun. Season 4 sees her starting to make the transition.
- Jacob Marley Warning: In the first three seasons, she has visions of her future self offering her warnings and advice.
- Rape as Backstory: In the first episode, she is raped by one of Epifanio's enforcers.
- Played by: Hemky Madera
A former sicario for Epifanio, and now Teresa's loyal right-hand man.
- Ambiguously Christian: He practices both Catholicism and Santeria.
- The Atoner: He killed Chino Parra, Tony's father, during Batman's brutal takeover of the Vargas Cartel. In season 4, he tries to make amends by giving Tony opportunities to kill him in revenge.
- Career-Ending Injury: His career as a sicario ended when he was tortured, resulting in nerve damage to his dominant hand. Fortunately for him, Teresa appreciates loyalty, and she keeps him on as an adviser.
- Real Men Wear Pink: When he's not brutally putting down Teresa's enemies, he enjoys cooking. Teresa offers to give him his own restaurant when he finally retires from being her enforcer.
"King" George Megalos
- Played by: Ryan O'Nan
A lifelong smuggler, and Teresa's main expert in transporting cocaine. He and his crew of Somalians have been all over the world and transported nearly anything conceivable.
- Ambiguously Bi: While he appreciates the ladies, his heart seems to belong to his right-hand man, Bilal, with whom he spends most of his time.
- A Father to His Men: King George loves his Somali henchmen like they're his own flesh and blood.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: King George seems to prefer the company of black people over his fellow Caucasians.
- Sad Clown: In season 4, while he still tries to maintain his party-animal facade, he's heartbroken over Bilal's death, and no longer at the top of his game. Teresa sends him off on a scouting trip to Belize in the hopes that it'll clear his head.
Kelly Anne Van Awken
- Played by: Molly Burnett
A former lawyer from Texas who befriended Teresa early in her career and now helps Teresa maintain legitimate fronts for her empire.
- The Alcoholic: In season 3, she starts hitting the bottle pretty hard in order to cope with her torture at the hands of Devon Finch, and her guilt at becoming his mole. In season 4, she's cleaned up her act.
- Awful Wedded Life: Her late husband was an abusive bastard who also happened to be an incompetent criminal.
- The Chick: She is not an Action Girl by any stretch of the imagination.
- Genius Ditz: In spite of her naivete and poor judgment, she is a brilliant accountant and lawyer. This helps her earn her way back into Teresa's empire, when she notices that Teresa's accountant has been stealing from her and helps Teresa recover the money.
- The Heart: With her cheerful demeanor, she helps keep the core of Teresa's empire together.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: She is extremely good at playing dumb, because she had to be in order to survive living with her abusive husband.
- Promoted to Parent: Her penance for betraying Teresa and not having the good sense or decency to disappear is to take care of Tony.
- Undying Loyalty: After being exposed as a mole and "executed", she chose to return to Texas and watch over Tony on Teresa's behalf, despite knowing that Teresa would have had her killed if she found out.
- Unishment: Her punishment for cheating death and trying to negotiate her way back into Teresa's cartel is to be assigned to care for Tony... which effectively puts her back in Teresa's cartel. Eventually, Teresa drops the act entirely and rehires Kelly Anne as her new accountant.
- '''Played by: Alfonso Herrera
Boaz Jimenez's cousin, a sicario from the Jimenez Cartel. Now on loan to Teresa as part of the treaty between her and Boaz.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: He dies after managing to pull Randall Green into the trunk of a burning car with him.
- George Jetson Job Security: As a sicario for the Jimenez Cartel, his employment, and thus his life, was always subject to the whims of Boaz.
- The Load: His poor decisions create a lot of problems for Teresa.
- Sleeping with the Boss's Wife: He is carrying on a secret affair with Boaz's ex-fiance Emilia.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He's basically a replacement for James Valdez. Lampshaded in the season finale, when Pote and Teresa wonder if they've had a blindspot for Javi's antics because they were so desperate to replace James.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Nearly every setback that besets Teresa in season 4, from her war with Marcel to the death of Tony, stems from Javi killing Rene Bardot in a bar brawl and trying to cover it up.
- Played by: JT Campos
The former head of the Jimenez Cartel, the Vargas Cartel's main rival. When Teresa's war with Camila Vargas destroyed the Vargas Cartel, Boaz became the de facto Kingpin of Sinaloa, but he was forced into a treaty with Teresa - he gets to rule Sinaloa, but he answers to Teresa. He's not happy about it.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Emilia, his ex-fiancee. She fled to New Orleans to escape him, and fell in love with Javier.
- Boxed Crook: He is allowed a certain amount of latitude in order to maintain control over Sinaloa, but Teresa keeps a vigilant eye on him.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He loved his son Kique dearly, and was even willing to make peace with the Vargas family when Kique fell in love with Isabela Vargas.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He hates being Teresa's subordinate, but he gave his word that he would serve her, and he does not go back on his word.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Teresa's other allies make no secret of their disdain for Boaz and his methods.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He has serious anger-management issues. One of the reasons he was forced into a treaty with Teresa was because the major cocaine overlords in Mexico feared that he'd start wars with everyone else unless there was someone to grab his leash.
- Unishment: In response to his failed attempt to take over the cartel while Teresa was in a coma, Teresa puts him in charge of Miami. In theory, it's a punishment because he's no longer in charge of Sinaloa, which he has long believed is his rightful territory, and because it will be harder for him to make mischief when he has no local allies, but there are far worse places to do penance than Miami.
- Played by: Julian Silva
Teresa's godson, and the son of her best friend Brenda and her husband Chino.
- The Bus Came Back: After two seasons in Texas, Tony is reunited with his tia in season 4, after assassins kill his uncle.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: After Brenda's death, Teresa left Tony in the care of his uncle in Texas in the hopes that he would have a normal life.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His parents were both brutally murdered within a year of each other. He still has nightmares about it.
- Morality Pet: Tony is the closest thing Teresa still has to family, and she tries to be a good tia for him. His death moves her much closer to becoming the brutal Queen seen in the flash-forwards.
- Put on a Bus: At the end of the first season, Teresa leaves Tony with his relatives in Texas.
- Played by: Zahn McClarnon
The leader of the Hakan Tse reservation, and one of Teresa's allies in Arizona. Initially a puppet of La Comision, put into power so that they could run drugs through the reservation, his alliance with Teresa restores his confidence and helps him retake control of his land.
- Badass Native: He's initially a tired, broken man, but once Teresa restores his confidence, he proves to be such a competent leader that Teresa agrees to a deal that will give him control of the Arizona drug trade.
- Played by: Peter Gadiot
The former right-hand of Camila Vargas, and now an ostensibly-loyal enforcer in Teresa's cartel. Also a mole for Devon Finch.
- The Bus Came Back: After leaving at the end of season 3, he suddenly returns in the final moments of season 4 with a visible gunshot wound in his chest.
- The Mole: He is spying on Teresa for Devon Finch.
- Put on a Bus: He leaves at the end of season 3, ostensibly because he's tired of Teresa questioning his loyalty. In reality, Finch had him re-assigned.
Raymundo "El Guero" Davila
- Played by: Jon-Michael Ecker
Teresa's ex, and a former sicario in the Vargas Cartel. For most of the first season, he is assumed to have been murdered when Batman took over the Vargas Cartel, but he turns out to have been captured by the FBI. In season 2, he joins Teresa's cartel, but is not readily trusted.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He is willing to screw over anyone to save his own ass.
Dona Camila Vargas
- Played by: Veronica Falcon
The estranged wife of Governor Epifanio Vargas, would-be Queen of the South, and the series' main antagonist in seasons 1-3. Frustrated when her husband expects her to become eye candy on the campaign trail, she instead takes over his drug cartel and manages to run it even more efficiently than he did.
- Career-Ending Injury: She was originally a dancer, but kept injuring her legs. When Epifanio offered to marry her and provide for her, she decided to accept.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Camila may be an evil, ruthless woman who is obsessed with power at any cost, but she genuinely loves her daughter Isabela.
- Fatal Flaw: Camila's pride tends to get in the way of her success. In the end, it destroys her family and her empire.
Don Epifanio Vargas
- Played by: Joaquim de Almeida
The former kingpin of Sinaloa, and now a Governor.
- Anti-Villain: Epifanio ultimately becomes this by the time his story is fleshed out. As a teenager he saw his mother and father get murdered and hung from a tree for not playing the Cartel leader his money on time. He forms a crew and fights to hold on to his family farm that the Cartels tries to take from him by force. He genuinely loves his wife Camila and the show makes it clear that their marriage problems were mostly created by her and her pride. He tries to go legit once he has the means to do so, but is stopped by is wife who refuses to give up the criminal empire she helped built, despite not being a criminal at all in the beginning of their relationship. And he gives up his life trying to kill Teresa, because he saw how his wife would never let her become the new Queen of the South. These things ultimately makes him a sympathetic character and not the ruthless drug lord the show initially makes him appear to be.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He's a bastard, but he genuinely loves his daughter Isabela.
- Villain with Good Publicity: It's an open secret in Sinaloa that Epifanio made his fortune in the drug trade, but his various charitable acts have made him popular enough that he can run for governor.
Cesar "Batman" Guemes
- Played by: Geraldo Teracena
Don Epifanio's right-hand man. Despite being an ugly brute, Don Epifanio chose him to take over the cartel during the gubernatorial campaign, setting off the events of the first three seasons.
- Bad Boss: His background as Epifanio's enforcer did not really prepare him for actually leading the cartel. Once he gains power, he quickly squanders his time trying to stamp out anyone who might have objected to his rule, creating a lot of resentful people who were only too happy to join Camila in taking over the cartel.
- Played by: Alimi Ballard
A New Orleans businessman and the head of the People of Color Chamber of Commerce, an interest group for black and Latino business owners that is actually a front for a criminal organization.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Once Teresa figures out what will get him off of her ass, he quickly becomes a loyal ally.
- The Dog Bites Back: His war with Teresa happens because he and his people have so much built-up resentment after being kicked around by Judge Lafayette for so many years that Teresa's seemingly callous murder of one of his guys pushes him over the edge. Once Teresa agrees to pay restitution for her actions, he agrees to a truce.
- A Father to His Men: He genuinely cares about his men, to the point that, when Teresa accidentally kills one of his men, he starts a brutal retaliation campaign against her.
- It's Personal: He kills El Gordo in revenge for El Gordo murdering his men.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He hides his criminal activity behind the guise of supporting small local businesses.
- Played by: Donald Paul
- Just Following Orders: When King George confronts him over his murder of Birdie, he claims he was only following orders during a war.
- Played by: Jock McKissic
One of Marcel's associates in Atlanta.
- The Dreaded: If his crew come after you, you're as good as dead.
Raul "El Gordo" Rodriguez
- Played by: Pepe Rapazote
A Cuban-born drug runner based in Miami, and one of Teresa's new allies in season 4.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: When things don't go his way, his tendency is to have people killed.
- Played by: Vera Cherny
A Russian-born, Atlanta-based drug dealer who specializes in ecstasy, and one of Teresa's new allies in season 4.
Judge Cecil Lafayette
- Played by: David Andrews
A local judge in New Orleans, and the main antagonist of season 4.
- Affably Evil: He is a mean old bastard who manages to hide behind a veneer of Southern gentility.
- The Chessmaster: He manages to squeeze both Teresa and Marcel by manipulating them into a gang war and then offering his services as a "mediator" in exchange for cuts of their profits.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: At first, it seems like for all of his corruption, Lafayette is a decent father who genuinely cares about his Ambiguous Disordered son Davis, but it's later revealed that Davis' mental illness is the product of years of his father's abuse and gaslighting. He is, however, genuinely heartbroken when Davis commits suicide in the season finale.
- Family Values Villain: Judge Lafayette is corrupt as all get-out, but he is a consummate southern gentleman, the kind who kills a minor associate for insulting a woman in his presence.
- No Honor Among Thieves: He sells protection to the local criminal organizations like Teresa's drug distribution network and Marcel's "chamber of commerce". However, once he has made enough money, he plans to make himself a local hero by having them all arrested and sent to jail.
Detective Randall Greene
- Played by: Cory Hart
A Detective in the New Orleans Police Department, and Judge Lafayette's chief enforcer.
- Dirty Cop: He uses the power of his badge to get away with all kinds of criminal behavior.
- The Dragon: He is Lafayette's right-hand man.
- Worthy Opponent: He has a grudging respect for Javier and Cedric, his counterparts in Teresa's cartel and Marcel's gang. This proves to be his undoing, as Cedric leads him into an ambush with Teresa's cartel, and Javier manages to kill him when he pauses during his execution to say a final word for him.
General Alberto Cortez
- Played by: Yancey Arias
A brutal, sadistic Mexican general, and the major antagonist of seasons 2 and 3.
- Corrupt the Cutie: In season 3, he seeks to turn Isabela Vargas against her mother.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Cortez claims that he ate Batman. He also claims to have plans to do the same to Camila Vargas.
- Manipulative Bastard: In season 3, he carries out a campaign to play Camila and Isabela Vargas against each other.
- The Sociopath: Given the subject matter of the show, you can point out a number of examples, but the one who sticks out the most is the military leader Cortez. You can read the Complete Monster entry on the other wiki page for a more in depth example. But to break it down, he has superficial charm, he lacks empathy, he is a compulsive liar, a Manipulative Bastard, he acts impulsively (and it's this trait that led to his downfall in Season 3), and he kills without hesitation if a person gets in his way, no matter who that person is or what he thinks of them at the time. What really makes him stick out, is that even some of the most ruthless criminals in the show like El Santo have some redeeming qualities about them. Cortez has none.
Sheriff Jed Mayo
- Played by: A Martino
A racist, corrupt Sheriff in Phoenix, and a minor antagonist in season 3.
- Boomerang Bigot: Sheriff Mayo is of Latino descent and makes very little effort to hide it, but he has been profiling and harassing his fellow Latinos for years in order to make a name for himself.
- Corrupt Hick: His war against La Comision is sold to the public as a righteous battle against evil foreign drug smugglers. In reality, it's just a front for squeezing La Comision for a cut of their profits.
- Inspector Javert: He portrays himself as a tireless crusader against drug trafficking, but in reality, he cheerfully takes bribes from La Comision.
- Karmic Death: After Jed Mayo sells out the La Comision for Teresa, she pays him the money she promised, but breaks her word by sending a video of Mayo torturing a Mexican immigrant in one of his jail cells to a rising politician in Phoenix to help with his election campaign. Jed Mayo is arrested and thrown in jail, where he is soon beaten to death by many of the Mexican immigrants he imprisoned.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He is a blatant expy of Joe Arpaio, the notorious former Sheriff of Maricopa County.
- You Are What You Hate: Sheriff Jed Mayo is of South American decent, but hates his own kind because he blames their actions for white people's racism towards them. Of course, he is no better if not worse, since he takes money from the cartels or any criminal organizationwho will pay him more, and at the same time tortures and kills his own kind, claiming he is bringing justice to Phoenix.
- Played by: Steven Bauer
A Bolivian cocaine supplier and cult leader. Extravagantly insane, he believes that Teresa is the moyocoyotzin, She Who Creates Herself, chosen to spread the "sacrament" of his cocaine to the rest of the world.
- Ax-Crazy: He considers cocaine to be a sacrament.
- Creepy Child: El Santo is attended by a crew of little girls in white dresses and terrifying masks who deliver his messages and kill those who cross him.
- The Dreaded: He scares the living shit out of everyone.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As insane as he is, he still loves his wife and unborn son.
- Villainous Breakdown: He loses what's left of his mind after his wife is killed and his infant son is taken away from him.