‘Baby Bandito’ True Story, Explained: Who Is Kevin Holguin?


Even though Netflix’s Baby Bandito is based on a true story, the majority of the incidents are entirely fictional, and certain creative liberties have been taken for dramatic purposes to give the narrative a proper beginning, middle, and end. In real life, most of these characters didn’t exist and most definitely didn’t have the proper motivation to plan “the heist of the century,” yet the creators filled those gaps through fictional events to give these characters a proper arc.

The true story took place on August 12, 2014, when six armed robbers (or ten, as per some reports) from Santiago de Chile broke into the Arturo Merino Benítez airport and looted 6 billion pesos from the Brink’s securities transport truck. The money was meant for the ATMs in Fiesta de la Pampilla before it was stolen by Kevin Holguin Sepulveda and his gang, who quickly went poof from the face of the earth after the robbery. However, the police finally caught the robbers one by one, except for Kevin Holguin, the 22-year-old thief, who became the very face of the heist.

There is no hard evidence to prove that a gang named “The Butchers” planned the heist, which implies that the characters of Russian and Greyhound are purely fictional. Similarly, Glory Meatpacking, along with its gang leader, Amador, is a fictional mob boss introduced by the creators to raise the stakes for its lead protagonist. Chile is one of the few countries in the world where organized crime still prevails, but the Santiago airport robbery had nothing to do with it. It was just a soft spot, which Kevin and his gang tried to exploit. The mastermind behind the robbery, Alexis Niñoles Rivas, was later arrested and given approximately 11 years in prison for robbery with intimidation. Additionally, the character named Panther doesn’t exist in real life; instead, it could have been inspired by a robber named Alfredo Álvarez, known as “El Tigre,” who was the last member of the gang to be arrested in August 2020. He was captured at the funeral of another criminal.

Kevin’s best friend, Panda, is not a real-life character either. Instead, it was Kevin’s brother, Fabián, who took part in the robbery. He was later arrested for planning the theft of a Ford Mustang in the commune of Lo Barnechea. It was implied that after Kevin’s escape from Chile, Fabián formed his own gang consisting of minors as young as 12 years old to carry out petty thefts in the area. Most likely, Kevin’s real-life brother became the inspiration for Panda’s character, who, in the series, entered the world of crime after Kevin fled to Italy with his girlfriend. However, all the murders committed throughout the series are entirely fictional.

It is true that the real-life prosecutor, Eduardo Baeza, believed that the heist was planned with a high level of planning. Her fictional counterpart, Sorya Jadue, shares exactly the same information with the media after the robbery. In a way, the Netflix series does pick up parts of real-life events and fictionalize them for their own benefit. It is also true that the robbers burned their vehicles as a distraction and used another to escape with the loot, but the police finally captured them with the help of a tool that they had recovered from the crime scene. In the series, the gang left behind a pair of clippers, which led to their arrest.

In real life, Kevin and his partner fled the country soon after the robbery. However, the name Genesis Roca is purely fictional. The real name of Kevin’s partner was never disclosed in the media. The couple used the stolen money to live a luxurious life in the Caribbean and Europe and used fake IDs and documents to travel to countries like France, Italy, and Spain, where they took refuge. Kevin didn’t shy away from showcasing his lavish lifestyle on social media, which quickly caught the authority’s attention. The Carabineros shared Kevin’s fingerprints with the international authorities, after which Kevin found himself on Interpol’s Red Notice. As his crimes came to light, an Italian newspaper outlet gave him the title “Il baby bandito” in December 2015, as he had been able to fool the authorities through the use of fake documents, which was why Kevin’s fingerprint was a crucial piece in his eventual incarceration.

Contrary to what was presented in the Baby Bandito series, Kevin didn’t fall out with his partner. Or if he had, it wasn’t the reason for his arrest. Additionally, he wasn’t arrested in Rome, Italy; instead, the authorities found him in a wealthy neighborhood in Barcelona in June 2016. He was caught during an ID check, after which Interpol took over the matter and extradited the robber of the century to his home country, Chile. While the couple were running from the authorities, they already had a three-month-old baby with them, unlike what was shown in the Baby Bandito series.

After the arrest, Kevin was presented before the Chilean Court of Law, where he received 4 years in prison for his involvement in the heist of the century. However, as mentioned earlier, Kevin was never the mastermind behind the heist in real life. He was just a 22-year-old flamboyant boy who flaunted his lavish lifestyle a little too much. The court probably understood the fact and, therefore, treated Kevin with some leniency and gave him precautionary measures for probation. He was only required to report to the concerned authorities every two weeks. But some time later, he stopped showing up. The police went to his house, only to find out that the young thief had disappeared once again. Kevin became a fugitive.

In July 2018, the police found him at his home in the commune of Maipú, from where they also recovered gun magazines and bulletproof vests, thereby connecting Kevin to some serious crimes. Kevin was obliged to fulfill his previous sentence, but he was once again out on supervised release and disappeared from the scene. A few years later, he joined some gangs specializing in burglaries, with whom he tried to rob a cigarette truck and was apprehended once again. As of now, there is no hard evidence to suggest Kevin’s whereabouts, but it is most likely that he is on the run and planning his next move, similar to what was shown at the end of the Baby Bandito series.

By the end of 2020, all the robbers involved in the Santiago Airport heist were caught by the police, but the authorities only recovered 10% of the stolen money. In the series, it was the same amount that Panda’s alleged girlfriend, Nidia, handed over to the police. The remaining bulk of over 5 billion pesos hasn’t been found yet. We can assume that the robbers lost the money in their greed or perhaps hid it somewhere safe so that they could use it later in life. The police are still looking for the stolen money.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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