Franz Sanchez is a drug baron who heads a powerful criminal cartel based in the fictional Central American city, Isthmus City. He is the main villain of the 1989 film Licence To Kill and was played by Robert Davi.
Sanchez is a Central American drug lord running his own empire from the fictitious Republic of Isthmus. Owner of a large luxury estate, protected by an army of henchmen and controller of the city President, Sanchez has either bribed, intimidated or killed most of the city’s officials. Heading an international drugs cartel Sanchez is both ruthless and merciless, yet is cultured, refined and a man of his word. Sanchez rewards loyalty but promises death to anyone who double-crosses him. With paranoid tendencies relating to the loyalty of his men, Bond is able to exploit this weakness to get Sanchez to kill a couple of his own men when Bond convinces him they are cheating on him.
Capture and Escape
DEA agents collect James Bond – MI6 agent 007 – and his friend, CIA agent Felix Leiter, on their way to Leiter’s wedding in Miami to have them assist in capturing drugs lord Franz Sanchez. Bond and Leiter capture Sanchez by attaching a hook and cord to Sanchez’s plane in flight near The Bahamas and pulling it out of the air with a Coast Guard helicopter. Afterwards, Bond and Leiter parachute down to the church in time for the ceremony.
During Sanchez’s transportation to a prison, Ed Killifer tempted by a $2 million dollar deal, assists the drug lords escape by driving the prison van into the sea, where Scuba divers are waiting to help make their underwater escape. Meanwhile, Sanchez’s henchman Dario and his crew ambush Leiter and his wife Della. Leiter is maimed by a great white shark and Della is raped and killed. Sanchez is then smuggled back to his empire in Isthmus City. When Bond returns to Leiter’s house to find Della dead and Felix alive, but seriously wounded, he swears to take his revenge on Sanchez. Later, Bond boards the Wavekrest – a ship run by Sanchez’s henchman Milton Krest – and foils Sanchez’s latest drug shipment, stealing five million dollars in the process.
The drug baron then appeared on a news broadcast saying that he loves America despite his drug operations and he welcomes the American people to Isthmus. After making some winnings in an Isthmus casino owned by Sanchez, Bond approaches Sanchez seeking employment in his organization; introducing himself as a “problem eliminator”. After reconnoitering the establishment, Bond notes that Sanchez was well protected, sitting behind two inches of armoured glass. Bond is delighted when Q arrives unannounced in Isthmus, providing him with the necessary gadgets to kill Sanchez. Using the equipment, Bond prepared to demolish the window using plastic explosives and snipe the drug lord from the adjacent building. Despite detonating the explosives, two Hong Kong Narcotics Bureau officers foil Bond’s attempt to assassinate Sanchez and take him to an abandoned warehouse. Sanchez’s men inadvertently rescue Bond and kill the officers, believing them to be the assassins.
Now ingratiated with Sanchez and nursed back to health at his private villa, Bond sets about destroying his operation by turning him against his own employees. Taking advantage of Franz’s paranoia (with the aid of Pam Bouvier, Q and Sanchez’s girlfriend Lupe Lamora) Bond frames Krest by placing the five million dollars he had stolen into the hyperbaric chamber on board the Wavekrest. A furious Sanchez traps Krest in the chamber and then rapidly depressurises it with an axe, killing him gruesomely; meanwhile, for Bond’s perceived loyalty, Sanchez admits him into his inner circle.
Sanchez takes Bond to his base, which is disguised as a meditation retreat. Bond learns that Sanchez’s scientists can dissolve cocaine in petrol and then sell it disguised as fuel to Asian drug dealers. The buying and selling are conducted via the televangelist Professor Joe Butcher, working under orders from Sanchez’s business manager Truman-Lodge. The re-integration process will be available to those underworld clients who can pay Sanchez’s price. During Sanchez’s presentation to potential Asian customers, Dario discovers Bond and betrays him to Sanchez. Bond starts a fire in the laboratory and attempts to flee, but is captured again and placed on the conveyor belt that drops the brick-cocaine into a giant shredder.
Sanchez flees as fire consumes his base, taking with him four articulated tankers full of the cocaine and petrol mixture. After killing Dario, Bond pursues them by plane. During the course of the chase through the desert, three of the four tankers are destroyed, sending Sanchez’s profits up in smoke. Sanchez attacks Bond aboard the final remaining tanker, which loses control and crashes down a hill side. Soaked in petrol from the leaking tanker, Sanchez attempts to kill Bond with his machete. Stating that Bond could “have had everything”, the incapacitated agent asked “don’t you want to know why?”. Bond then reveals his cigarette lighter – the Leiters’ gift for being the best man at their wedding – and sets Sanchez on fire, taking revenge for Felix and Della. Burning, Sanchez stumbles into the wrecked tanker causing it and him to violently explode.