Hector Alcazar, the ‘Butcher of Panama’, is introduced to us in chapter 5 as Sam explains to Nate how he escaped prison. Sam tells us about how he was made to share a cell with Hector (implying that the guards did this because they had it in for Sam), but Sam soon finds that Hector isn’t that bad a guy and they seem to form a casual friendship or at least be friendly enough for Sam to tell him about his dream of finding Avery’s 400 million worth of treasure. One night Hector’s gang come to break him out and Hector is kind enough to allow Sam to come with him, queue intense prison escape. Then, when both are safe, Hector reveals his true reasoning for saving Sam, he wants a slice of that Avery gold and if Sam doesn’t do it, he’ll straight up ice that fool. Pretty straightforward stuff, or at least it is until you reach the end of chapter 15.
In chapter 15 we learn the truth, Hector Alcazar has been dead for 6 months, dying in some shootout somewhere, long before Sam’s supposed escape. It turns out Sam was telling Nate, and us, filthy lies. He was really freed by Rafe when he found out Sam surrvived so that he could help him find Avery’s loot. Sam stuck with Rafe for a while to learn what he could from him and once he did then he ditched Rafe to find his brother Nate, but he needed to convince Nate to join him, hence the whole Hector Alcazar story. So when I replayed the game after beating it and was back at chapter 5, I was looking at it in a new light.
Before Hector’s men come to break him out, Hector talks to Sam about the guards whom he hears singing/being drunk in the distance, he asks Sam how can they be happy with their jobs, with their small lives and later states that he admires Sam for his ambitious dreams. But Hector was really dead and this conversation never really happened, it came from Sam’s head. So then where did these ideas come from? I believe it was Sam who was standing at those bars, listening to those guards singing and getting drunk and wondering how could they be happy with their small lives when men like him were destined for greatness. Sam is Hector. It fits in with Sam not really being able to understand why Nate would pick his boring life, his wife and friend Sully over mythical lost pirate treasure. It’s a nice touch from Naughty Dog and adds a bit of depth on the psychology of Sam.