For the actor, see Max Arciniega (actor).
Don Eladio, Gustavo didn't mean to offend. l know Gustavo like a brother. He's an honorable man. The most loyal man l have ever known. He rescued me from the Santiago slums. He made me the man l am today! Gustavo is a genius. He will make you millions! Just find it in your heart to forgive him this one small mistake. Please He's my partner. l need him! l swear to God!
― Max's final words (In Spanish) before being murdered by Hector Salamanca for Gus' disrespectful actions towards Don Eladio.[src]

Maximino "Max" Arciniega was a close associate of Gustavo Fring and co-founder of the Los Pollos Hermanos franchise. He held advanced degrees in biochemistry and chemical engineering. Max's education was financed by Gus after Gus rescued him from the slums of Santiago.


Season 4

Gus and Max are the hermanos ("brothers") in Los Pollos Hermanos. Gus paid for Max's education in chemistry at the "Universidad de Santiago de Chile" (USACH, University of Santiago in Chile). When the pair moved to Mexico and opened up a chain of Los Pollos Hermanos chicken restaurants together, Max provided the chicken recipe, but also cooked the crystal meth of which he and Gus began to give away samples.


Hector about to murder Max Arciniega

These samples gained the attention of Don Eladio Vuente, the druglord in charge of the Juárez Cartel, whom Max and Gus had approached in the hopes of convincing the Don to distribute their meth in addition to the usual cocaine. Don Eladio, unimpressed by these upstarts and nominally dismissive of selling methamphetamine, had Hector Salamanca kill Max on the patio of his mansion while Juan Bolsa restrained Gus. Gus was forced to watch the blood from his friend's fatal head wound drip into the swimming pool, a vision that stayed with him.

It was following this that Gus vowed revenge on Hector, Bolsa, Don Eladio and the entire Cartel and would spend the next 20 years plotting a way to avenge Max's death.


After moving to the United States, Gus endowed the Max Arciniega Chemistry Scholarship at the Chemistry department at the University of New Mexico. Gale Boetticher was one of perhaps three dozen recipients; this paid for his educaton.

As part of his long scheme of revenge against the cartel for the murder of his close friend, Fring torments Hector about the killing of Hector's nephews by Hank Schrader; Gus had told the Cousins of Hank's involvement in Tuco Salamanca's death, but then anonymously warned Hank that the Cousins were after him, giving him time to fight back. As part of this scheme, Gus turned the American and Mexican governments against the cartel, which resulted in the death of cartel drug lord Juan Bolsa (also present when Max was killed). ("One Minute",  "I See You").

Using a bottle of poisoned tequila, Gus eventually kills Don Eladio himself along with the rest of his cartel capos at the same poolside where Max was murdered. This mass poisoning meant the end of the cartel's influence and nearly the fruition of Gus's revenge ("Salud").

Ultimately however, Gustavo would be blinded too much by his desire to avenge Max's death, which would result in his own violent death as a result of Max's own killer, Hector who, with the aid of Walter White suicide bombed Gus after luring him into a trap, derailing nearly 20 years of Gus' efforts to avenge his beloved partner's murder.


Breaking Bad

Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5A
Season 5B


  • Max Arciniega is named after the actor who plays Krazy-8.
  • Chronologically, Max is the first character to die, since his death occurred before the pilot episode.
  • It is implied that Gus and Max's relationship may have been a romantic one, which Vince Gilligan has acknowledged, and decided against confirming or denying.
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