|Don Hector "Tio" Salamanca|
|Portrayed By||Mark Margolis|
|Alias(es)||Uncle, formerly "Don" Salamanca|
|Occupation(s)||Former Juárez Cartel capo|
|Last Seen||Face Off|
|Images of Hector "Tio" Salamanca|
Don Héctor "Tio" Salamanca was the former right hand man and enforcer of Don Eladio. Hector was a high-ranking member of the Juárez Cartel and was feared among most in the South. He is rendered invalid possibly from a stroke or some form of motor neurone disease; such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/Lou Gehrig's disease. The reason why it is suspected that he suffered from a form of motor neurone disease is because in the flash back episodes featuring Hector Salamanca, it appears that he is beginning to show signs of muscular degeneration.
The DEA had knowledge that Hector was an ex-con and an uncle to Tuco Salamanca. Evidently, Hector became a ward of the State of New Mexico after Tuco was killed by Hank, at which point he was discovered sitting inside his "fine crib in the country" unable to communicate verbally. Tio also mentored Marco and Leonel, and he has aged before his years and is always confined to his wheelchair and oxygen tank. He never speaks a syllable, using only a brass service bell taped onto his wheelchair armrest to communicate. Generally, one bell means 'yes', zero bells means 'no', but sometimes Hector is able to get his message across with a flurry of bell rings and the expression on his face. It is apparent, based on his facial ticks, that he has tardive dyskinesia, which can be a result of heavy or prolonged anti-psychotic use (sometimes used as a sedative); he has not yet developed this condition by the time he was introduced.
Despite his infirmity, he was a high-ranking member of the Juárez Cartel and was referred to as "Don Salamanca" by contemporary cartel leaders like Juan Bolsa. He was and is the most feared of the Dons and was the patriarch of the Salamanca familia. 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 ("One Minute"). However, as his remaining male family members all predeceased him, it appears that the Salamanca name died along with him.
A flashback revealed that he was working for Don Eladio at the time Gus Fring made an overture toward the cartel. At the time, he disparaged young Gus as "the Chicken Man" and a "dirty South American." He executed Gus's partner in front of him, earning Gus's instant hatred. Gus regularly returned to Tio's nursing home to taunt him with news of his progress in eliminating the cartel.
Hector is first seen when Tuco brings Walt and Jesse to a hideout in the desert, following a crackdown on Tuco's drug operation by the Albuquerque DEA. While Tio appears to be senile, fixated only on the television, he gradually reveals his mind is still sharp and he can ring his bell to communicate with his nephew. After he sees Walt put poison in Tuco's burrito, he rings the bell prompting Tuco to give it to him instead (thinking Tio wanted the bigger burrito), only for Tio to knock it to the floor and point murderously toward Walt.
He gets Tuco's attention again after the meal by continually ringing his bell. He communicates that he does not trust Walt and Jesse, and Tuco drags Jesse outside, beating him until Walt admits they tried to poison him. Tuco is then killed by Hank. Although Walt and Jesse escape, as a result of this encounter Hector learns Walt's name and what Jesse looks like; Tuco had read their names out loud to him off their driver's licenses, and showed Hector a picture of Walt's family ("Grilled").
As the investigation into Tuco's death continues, Hank and Steven Gomez bring in Hector to see if he can confirm that Jesse was present at the shooting since his car was discovered there. Tio proves he is still cognizant of his surroundings by ringing his bell to simple questions, but when asked if Jesse was there he simply voids his bowels. Afterwards, Gomez explains that Salamanca is an "old-school gangbang Mexican" who spent 17 years in prison without once cooperating with authorities, and they will get nothing from him even if it would incriminate Jesse ("Bit by a Dead Bee").
After crossing the border into New Mexico, the Cousins seek out their Tio in his Albuquerque-area nursing home. Familiar with the routine, the cousins procure a Ouija board from a pile of board games and Hector uses his bell to spell out the letters of the real name of the meth cook the cartel knows only as Heisenberg, the man that killed their cousin Tuco. The Cousins move to Walt's house to execute him immediately, but are called off by a last second text message: "Pollos" ("Caballo Sin Nombre").
Following this incident, Bolsa arranges a meeting between Gus, Hector, the Cousins and himself. Juan is clearly uncomfortable in the same room with Hector and his family, and it is only due to Hector's ill health that he agreed to mediate. He explains to Gus that Don Salamanca saw Tuco as a son and groomed him to take his place in the organization, and that Walt's betrayal of Tuco has earned him a death sentence sanctioned by the Salamanca family and the Cartel—an assertion Hector emphasizes with one ring of his bell. When Gus says that he needs Walt alive for the time being, Hector angrily rings his bell many times ("I.F.T.").
In Mexico, Gus murders all the major members of the cartel with poisoned tequila ("Salud"). After returning to New Mexico, Gus takes Jesse to meet Hector so they can tell him what has taken place: Don Eladio and all the others are dead. Gus also tells him that Jesse killed Joaquin, Hector's grandson and the last remaining male member of the Salamanca family. Gus dangles Don Eladio's amulet necklace in Hector's face and says "look at me!" When Hector refuses, Gus places the necklace into the last Don's shirt pocket ("Crawl Space").
In the final episode, Walter convinces Hector to aid him in assassinating Gus. Hector demands to talk to the DEA, but provides them no info. However, the fact that Hector visited the DEA at all prompts a visit from Gus and his henchman, Tyrus, to Hector's room at the nursing home. Gus is about to inject Hector with a lethal medication when Hector finally looks at Gus and rings his bell repeatedly, triggering the explosion of the pipe bomb attached to his wheelchair, killing all in the room including himself. Gus steps out of the room, seemingly unharmed, and adjusts his tie. The camera pans, and it is revealed that Gus' face was blown in half, and he finally dies ("Face Off").
- Max Arciniega (Shot in the head on Don Eladio's orders)
- Gus Fring (Blown up in revenge for the death of his family and cartel members)
- Tyrus Kitt (Blown up)
- He was originally supposed to be the main antagonist of Season 3.
| Main: Walter White • Jesse Pinkman • Skyler White • Walter White Jr. • Hank Schrader • Marie Schrader • Saul Goodman • Gustavo Fring • Mike Ehrmantraut
Recurring: Bogdan Wolynetz • Krazy 8 • Wendy • Mr. Pinkman • Mrs. Pinkman • Gretchen Schwartz • Dr. Delcavoli • Donald Margolis • Tim Roberts • ASAC Merkert • SAC Ramey • Clovis • Holly White • Group Leader • Kaylee Ehrmantraut • Old Joe • Andrea Cantillo • Brock Cantillo • Huell • Kuby • Tyrus Kitt • Dennis Markowski • Declan
Minor: Chad • Carmen Molina • Dr. Belknap • Emilio Koyama • Ben • Louis • Jake Pinkman • Ken • Elliott Schwartz • Farley • Hugo Archilleya • Gonzo • No-Doze • Spooge • Spooge's Lady • Tortuga • Getz • Francesca • James Kilkelly • Rival Dealers • Tomás Cantillo • Pamela • Benicio Fuentes • Juan Bolsa • Duane Chow • Lawson • Gaff • Don Eladio • Max Arciniega • Joaquin Salamanca • Barry Goodman • Chris Mara • Peter Schuler • Herr Herzog • Dan Wachsberger • Ira • Benny • Ron Forenall • Drew Sharp