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Dante Esquivel is an antagonist and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's Fear The Walking Dead. He is the former leader of the Gonzalez Dam community. He serves as one of the many antagonists for the first half of Season 3.
Not much is known about Dante's life before the apocalypse, except that he was probably local, born and raised in the city of Tijuana, which he became the Municipal President after he grew up. Due to his position, Dante, Victor Strand, and Thomas Abigail had dealt business together before the apocalypse and thus knew each other.
Sometime during the apocalypse, Dante along with further "unsavory forces" captured and took over control of the Gonzales Dam from the surrounding community.
Dante first appeared in the episode when Victor Strand first arrived at the doors of his compound, indirectly saving him from being executed by his own men. A while later Dante sits down and invites Strand to chat about the old days, back when they were both fierce businessmen that controlled the market with a fierce hand. As the discussion progresses Dante eventually brings up Victor's business associate and lover, Thomas asking Strand if he knows his status in this new world to which Strand simply stands in silence, Dante understanding that means he probably didn't make it.
After the whole charade back in Dante's office, the man takes Strand out on a catwalk along the Dam, where he presents what he does to people that he considers scum, the man in question that's being served as an example is an ex-cartel member who used to be a drug runner before the apocalypse. After the man is disposed of by being thrown over the catwalk's railing and falling at the bottom of the Dam which is also filled with walker corpses (that can't walk because they probably met the same fate as the cartel man), he surprises Strand by double-crossing him, ordering his men to pin him against the railing, making it clear that he didn't consider him a friend and that the whole drink they shared earlier was just a ruse so that Dante could get Strand's guard down. He expresses his wish to feed Strand to the walkers down below because he considers Strand a thief that can't be trusted, and he almost gives the order for Strand to be dropped before Strand states that if he doesn't spare him, he will regret it.
Dante indeed spares Strand, but not so he can work together with Strand, he only spares him because he realized that he could be used as possible slave labor, and probably a free piece of advice whenever he needs him.
Dante enters the room and everyone stands for him, except Daniel Salazar, which others call crazy. J.C. approaches him and asks why he didn't stand. He insists Daniel stand for the boss and look at him when he speak. The man sticks a finger in Daniel's food, prompting Daniel to stab him with a fork. Dante breaks up the fight and asks Daniel his name and where he is from. "Sergeant Salazar? NCO Salazar? Liuetenant Salazar?", Dante asks. After hearing his accent, Dante realizes that Daniel is from El Salvador. He infers that Daniel is a “sombra negra” and was in the fearsome El Salvadoran military. He pulls Daniel's lower lip down to reveal a tattoo indicating "Sombra Negra." He tells his enforcer he was picking a fight with a killer. Dante is impressed by Daniel’s background and welcomes him as a guest to his table. Lola watches in shocked.
Dante escorts Daniel to his office and asks what he wants or needs. Daniel wants a jeep to look for someone. Dante will fulfill the wish but implores Daniel to stay there, promising to take care of him. Daniel later finds Dante interrogating Efraín. Dante orders Daniel to torture Efrain until he reveals the person who helped him steal the water. Daniel quietly advises Efrain against talking and offers to kill him quickly. He punches Efrain repeatedly and commands him to confess. He refuses, and Dante orders Daniel to continue. He grabs a hammer for his next act. As he prepares to swing a hammer at Efrain, Lola runs over and stops him, outing herself as Efrain’s accomplice.
Dante and J.C. take Efrain, Lola, Strand and Pablito to the dam catwalk for execution. Dante pushes Pablito over the edge despite his pleas of innocence. Lola is next up to be executed, but Daniel hesitates and Dante has J.C. do it for him. However Daniel turns on Dante, by killing J.C. and two guards. Dante pleads that Daniel cannot kill him, as Daniel owes Dante for letting him into the group and pulling him off the streets. Angered at his betrayal, Dante insults him by saying that he will always be a "goddamn dog" before Daniel promptly shoots him in the head.
This list shows the victims Dante has killed:
- 1 unnamed man (Caused)
- Possibly numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people (Caused and Direct)
After Daniel refuses to kill Lola Guerrero, he turns on Dante and his men, killing J.C. and two guards. Dante pleads that Daniel cannot kill him as Daniel owes Dante for letting him into the group and pulling him off the streets. Realizing Daniel's mind is made up, Dante insults him by saying that he will always be a "goddamn dog" and is promptly shot in the head.
- Dante is the second known politician in The Walking Dead Television Universe with the other one being Deanna Monroe. Aaron was a politician at one point, but stepped down. Qaletaqa Walker can also count as someone who is in politics as being the Chief of the Hopi Tribe.
- Dante is Daniel Salazar's one hundredth killed victim.
- ↑ Hannam, Laura (23 May 2017) "Fear the Walking Dead season 3: Meet the cast and characters", BT, Retrieved on 28 May 2017