19 Real-Life Facts Behind Netflix’s New True-Crime Show The Asunta Case

Note: This post contains mentions of suicide, murder, and drugs.

The case surrounding 12-year-old Asunta Basterra’s death in 2013 created a media frenzy, both in Santiago and globally. Two years later, her adoptive parents, Rosario Porto Ortega and Alfonso Basterra Camporro, were convicted for her murder under strange circumstances.

Rosario Porto (Candela Peña) and Alfonso Basterra (Tristán Ulloa) speak urgently to a police officer in an interrogation room. Subtitles read, "You need to find her." Netflix logo in the corner
Netflix / Via youtube.com

Nearly a decade after the criminal trial concluded, Netflix’s highly-anticipated series The Asunta Case reignited the public’s interest in what really happened. After all, both Rosario and Alfonso maintained their innocence even after sentencing. Below, I've broken down 19 facts related to the limited series.

People eating at a kitchen table, with a focus on the young woman with shoulder-length hair on the right looking at her phone. Names are unspecified

1.Asunta was born Yong Fang.

After Rosario and Alfonso adopted the child, she was given the name Asunta Yong Fang Basterra, according to the book The Murder Of Asunta Yong Fang by Mark Guscin.

2.Asunta was a very gifted child.

Actress Iris Wu shined in the role of Asunta but the actual child was incredibly gifted. According to The Guardian, she skipped an academic year and was a polyglot who was fluent in Spanish and Galician. Asunta also enrolled in private classes to learn English, French, and Chinese and took a German class in school. On top of all of that, Asunta also excelled in the arts, having picked up the violin and piano, and taking ballet classes, as referenced in the series.

3.She was also the first Chinese child to be adopted in Santiago de Compostela, per The Guardian.

Since Rosario and Alfonso couldn't conceive a child, reportedly due to her Lupus diagnosis, the couple decided to adopt, La Voz De Galicia reports. Spain had strict adoption laws and a declining birth rate, so they decided to adopt abroad. Interestingly enough, Spain ranked second in the world for foreign adoptions, one position behind the United States.

4.Rosario Porto was a lawyer, just like her father.

Authorities usher Rosario Porto out of a building.

5.She also allegedly claimed that she attended the London High School Of Law in London — a school that doesn't exist.

Per The Guardian, Porto posted her CV online claiming that she studied at the London High School Of Law. However, the publication's investigation concluded that no such school exists.

6.Asunta’s autopsy revealed that she had 27 crushed-up pills of anti-anxiety medication in her system when she died of asphyxiation.

The autopsy report for Asunta revealed that she had been heavily sedated prior to her death. Similar to the series, the coroner determined that she died from asphyxiation with 0.68 milligrams per liter of blood of the benzodiazepine, an anti-anxiety and anti-insomnia medication, found in her system — a dosage that forensic psychiatrist José Cabrera Forneiro told El Pais "implies the necessary toxicity to result in death, especially in children aged under 12."

7.The production team refused to shoot at the real locations connected to Asunta's murder.

Cast and crew on stage at a premiere event for the Netflix documentary, El Caso Asunta, with Tristán Ulloa and Candela Peña shown on the screen behind them

8.Candela Peña had to convince the directors to play Rosario.

Candela Peña poses confidently on a Netflix event red carpet, wearing an elegant, flowing black outfit with a headpiece featuring a netted veil on the red carpet premiere of "The Asunta Case."

9.Peña reportedly vomited on the first day on set after she put on her wig.

According to Euro ESEuro, Peña needed an ambulance after she tried on her wig for the role of Rosario Porto. “I was so scared that the first day they put the wig on me, I started vomiting," she reportedly said. Tristán Ulloa, who plays Alfonso Basterra, corroborated the claim in the same article, stating, "An ambulance came and the woman had been Rosario Porto’s classmate." The classmate was reportedly just as startled to see Peña since she shared an uncanny resemblance to Rosario Porto.

10.Asunta's inheritance played a role in the investigation.

While many questions surrounding the circumstances of Asunta's death remain unanswered, the Civil Guard initially suspected that her inheritance may have been a motive behind her death. An alleged cousin stated that the grandfather "decided to leave everything to her," according to El Mundo. Rosario's parents left behind a sizable inheritance to Asunta, leading investigators to suspect that money played a role in her death.

11.At one point, authorities considered launching a parallel investigation into the death of Rosario's parents.

The suspicions surrounding Rosario's involvement in her daughter's death were fortified by the theories of an economic motive. Per El Mundo, the Civil Guard believed that the couple had run out of cash and knew that their daughter would inherit the wealth. Since there were questions regarding whether grandparents died from natural causes, investigators suspected that there may have been a connection.

12.The majority of the crew for The Asunta Case were Galician and previously worked on Fariña

From left to right: Pablo Barrera, Manuel Cortes, Fernando Prados, Ximena Barralon, Isabel Nuñez, Daniel Rojas, Laura Diaz, Bruno Follano, Sergio Amat, Marta Lopez at Netflix's "El Caso Asunta" event

13.Candela Peña required two coaches to help her nail the Galician accent.

In an interview with David Broncano on La Resisitencia, Peña revealed that she needed two linguistic coaches to help her master her Galician accent. It reportedly took her a week to say Alfonso's name correctly.

14.Peña also faced signficant backlash from locals for her role.

During her conversation with La Script podcast, she revealed that locals in Santiago would often curse her out throughout the filming. Not only were they upset about the character but also, the fact that she was getting paid to do so.

15.Ramón Campos communicated with Alfonso Basterra during the development of El caso Asunta (Operación Nenúfar).

Alfonso Basterra  in casual attire, one appearing to be a law enforcement officer, escort a handcuffed individual towards a building. Names unknown

16.Rosario Porto committed suicide in 2020.

Several years after she was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the murder of Asunta Basterra, Porto died by suicide behind bars. Reports by La Razon claim that she had attempted suicide in the past as a result of her declining mental health.

17.Alfonso Basterra was perceived to be a pedophile by the time he went to court due to the media coverage.

Tristán Ulloa as Alfonso Basterra.

18.Rosario Porto suffered from mental health issues following the death of her parents.

Rosario Porto testifying in court.

19.Asunta's ashes were left with a friend of Rosario's.

The Guardian reports that Asunta's adoptive parents were to decide what happened to ashes afterward.