Politics, my friend, is for fools.

Juan de la Vara

Juan de la Vara is a minor character and Stranger featured in Red Dead Redemption.

He plays a part in both Stranger side-missions "Poppycock" and "Love is the Opiate".


Juan is the slaughterhouse foreman at El Matadero. He is notable for his cruel attitude to employees, binding many of them, including Chinese workers like Zhou, into contracts that are no better than slavery, as well as being a purchaser of opium from Uriah Tollets.


Juan plays a large role in the stranger side-mission "Poppycock", during which he has purchased a package from Uriah Tollets and is awaiting its delivery. Marston is hired to acquire the package from Nosalida, and then take it to Juan. Once there, Juan begins talking about politics in Mexico before giving Marston the money for the package. It is later revealed by Tollets that the package was in fact opium, which Juan is using in order to keep his workers addicted.

Juan also plays a large role in the stranger side-mission "Love is the Opiate", during which he is the boss of Zhou, a Chinese immigrant who is trying to leave his job at the factory. Unfortunately, Juan has Zhou on a contract that is making it very difficult for Zhou to leave. However, when Marston asks how he can help Zhou, Juan tells Marston that if he can get him a Hungarian Half-bred, he will release Zhou. Once Marston returns with a Hungarian Half-bred, Juan will tell Zhou that he is free.


I'll get this to the workers right away.
Juan de la Vara referring to opium
If you would've known, you would've kept it all yourself.
Juan de la Vara referring to Marston's ignorance of what the package truly is
They ain't slaves, gringo. Not slaves at all.
Juan de la Vara referring to his workers


  • The player is able to kill him after giving him a white stallion during "Love is the Opiate".
  • In the 1800s and even in John Marston's time, it was not unheard of for factory and mine owners to use drug addiction as a tool to make their workers dependent on them, decreasing the likelihood of them unionizing or walking out. While this did occur in America, it was more common in other countries such as Mexico and in the European colonies in Asia and Africa. This explains why de la Vara was interested in buying opium from Uriah Tollets. Many of the opium dealers in the 19th century were British, like Tollets (the British opium traders became particularly infamous when the Chinese authorities stopped opium traders from selling their wares in China, leading to a war with Britain.)
  • According to Zhou, he beats his employees.
  • His character model is available in the Outfitter under the name Gustavo Andares.
  • He shares the same first name as his voice actor.


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