‘The Asunta Case’ (2024) Cast & Character Guide

The Asunta Case, the brand-new Netflix Spanish Original, is based on the real-life murder of thirteen-year-old teenager Asunta Yong Fang Basterra Porto. The case went on for several years until the adoptive parents of the young kid were convicted by the jury trial and were sentenced to life in prison. The series chronicles the entire investigation and the back and forth between the prosecution and the defense as they fought tooth and nail to win the case. There are several characters in the show that get to the skin of the real-life people who were at the forefront, facing the police, lawyers, and the media.


Mild Spoilers Ahead

Alfonso Basterra 

Alfonso Basterra is the father figure in the show, portrayed by Tristán Ulloa, who was last seen in “Berlin,” the spin-off of yet another cult classic Netflix Original Money Heist. Unlike in Berlin, Tristan in this show de-glamourizes himself and becomes the father figure who has a turbulent nature and is devastated upon learning his only adoptive daughter has been killed. Alfonso is perpetually angry at Rosario and the system, as he believes they’ve wronged him. He is adamant about the fact that he had no role to play in the murder right from the start until the arrest, but the evidence gathered painted another picture.


Alfonso is a typical male figure who has difficulty accepting that his wife might not be interested in remaining married to him. This makes him resort to a barrage of hateful psychological torments against her. There is a lot of male chauvinism and misogyny on display. He refuses to see how problematic it is, and when he starts to control the lives of the people he is no longer legally bound to, It showcases his need to make people want him and depend on him. This validates Alfonso’s presence and his life. Alfonso Basterra never cooperates in line with the belief system made up in his head, which makes him assure himself and Rosario that they might get acquitted eventually.

Rosario Porto 

Portrayed by the amazing Candela Peña, Rosario is a far more complicated character, as there are two types of emotions thrown her way through the course of the show. Rosario Porto is the adoptive mother of Asunta, and she is one of the first people to notice her daughter is missing from her home in Santiago. Rosario is a divorced woman who is co-parenting Asunta with the adoptive father of the young kid. Rosario is the first person to be arrested, as the police found a lot of discrepancies in her statements. 


Rosario is a lawyer by profession and is an independent woman, but soon it is established that the woman is highly dependent on Alfonso, and he makes sure it stays this way. Rosario sadly goes from a woman who dared to walk out on her marriage to someone who finds herself emotionally clinging to her toxic ex-husband. She is a wonderful mother in the show up until the murder, which is where her character enters the gray area, as there is no guarantee that she is indeed the murderer. 

Rosario, as a depression and anxiety patient is not ready to face the heat of the media in the wake of her arrest, and it only gets worse as the case progresses towards a crescendo. Rosario could or could not be a murderer, but it is heartbreaking to watch her spiral and seem helpless at the same time.


Judge Malvar

Judge Malvar is one of the prime members of the investigation team. Javier Gutiérrez and Judge Malvar initially did not suspect the parents, but their statements did not add up. Malvar spearheaded the narrative that the parents killed Asunta, and their evidence pointed to that fact very early on in the investigation. The man also learns Alfonso is a person who could be easily triggered, and he uses it to his benefit to understand that his father is also involved in the murder. Since Rosario is the first one to be accused, followed by Alfonso, Malvar is hell bent on keeping them behind bars. Thankfully, Malvar only sticks to the facts of the case and does not indulge in spinning the narrative to make it seem disgusting and horrendous. Malvar and Rosario are acquaintances, but he does not play favorites. He is dealing with parental issues as Malvar is having a hard time taking care of his aging father, who also happens to have many health concerns. 

Malvar is just like any other son who has a parental relationship that trudges between complicated and loving at the same time. This subplot is added to understand the parent-child bond as Malvar is investigating a murder that may have been committed by the victim’s parents.


Agent Rios

Carlos Blanco, as Agent Rios, happens to be one of the leading investigative officers who is informed about the murder of Asunta. Agent Rios is one of the oldest officers in the investigative team, which means he has a lot more experience handling cases of this nature. Rios and his partner Cristina jump into the investigation and end up finding many leads that point to Rosario and Alfonso being guilty.

Malvar, Rios, and Cristina are always on the same page when it comes to further investigation from several angles that prove their hunch right. Rios is also a grandparent who is raising his granddaughter with the help of his wife, as their daughter does not stay in touch. There is no bitterness in him towards his daughter, while he gives everything to make sure the granddaughter leads a good life. Agent Rios is at the forefront of the case and does not want to come across as a biased man. Like Malvar, he sticks to facts and hopes their narrative is proven right.


Agent Cristina

María León as Agent Cristina, unlike Rios, is a young woman who has not much experience working with the force. Cristina and Rios have been work partners for a long time. Cristina, just like the others in the investigative team, is convinced that the parents are the murderers. Along with Rios, she could unearth many leads and evidence that could point to their conclusions about the case. Cristina is a young married woman who is planning to have a child with her husband through IVF. Apart from the work she has been assigned with Rios, the IVF process is stressful, and she is having a tough time dealing with the idea of being a mother through an unfamiliar method. Her husband is a kind person who stands by her side as she deals with the jitters and anxiety that come with going through this process.

Juan Jose Dominguez and Elene Garrida

Francesc Orella as Juan Jose Dominguez and Alicia Borrachero as Elene Garrida are the defense lawyers chosen to fight the case in favor of Alfonso and Rosario. While Juan Jose, aka JJ, is representing Rosario, Elene is representing Alfonso. They join their cause at a juncture when both are on the verge of being accused and their lawyer backs out, stating the mounting evidence could be a cause for concern. JJ and Elene gather the strength to make sure Rosario and Alfonso are given a fair trial and a chance to present the story and defend all the accusations.


JJ and Elene are hoping to blame the police and the Assistant DA for their tendencies to be lazy and not look for other suspects. They feel the parents of Asunta are the usual suspects, and the police did nothing to look at this case from another angle. They are hoping to save their clients a long jail time, but fate has other plans for all of them. JJ takes the typical route of going to the media to talk about the incompetence of the prosecution.

Elene Garrida, on the other hand, is not confident about the case right from the start, as the parents never cooperated with the police, and the evidence points towards them as well. It is JJ’s encouragement to look beyond what the prosecution wants them to see and look for other angles to save Rosario and Alfonso. They are hoping to kill the narrative spun around by Malvar and his team. JJ and Elene want to prove the parents to be innocent, who are mere victims of a rotten system. 


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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