El Papagayo is a Mexican bandit who operated in the late 1800s. He is the leader of a large group of criminals. Quentin Turnbull, an enemy of Jonah Hex, hires an actor to portray a Secret Service agent in order to trick Hex into infiltrating Papagayo's gang and eventually bring the man to justice. Hex fails to do so and he and the bandit would come into conflict many more times over the years.
In one incident, El Papagayo captures Jonah from his hotel room and stakes him out in the desert to fry in the sun. He manages to escape but this is learned by El, who promises to keep an eye out for him.
In the 2010 graphic novel Jonah Hex: No Way Back, Hex kills El Papagayo. The graphic novel also explains why Papagayo despises Hex so much; as a young man growing up in the wilderness of Mexico, his family collected and trained parrots which they would later sell to Americans and the rich of Mexico City. His family had done so for generations, and made good money as a result. One day, Woodson Hex (Jonah Hex's father) and his gang appeared with the intent of stealing all of the parrots for the great sum of money they were worth; they told Papagayo's family that they would let them live so long as they continued to give them the parrots season after season. Because it was their only means of making money, Pagagayo's family refused, so Woodson ordered his men to kill them all. Papagayo was the only one to escape death, and from that day forth, he vowed that he would take revenge on Woodson Hex and his family.
Decades later, the heroes known as Hawk and Dove visit the supernatural realm of Hell. El Papagayo's spirit is seen suffering.
Batman and Robin once encountered a modern El Papagayo in the Republic of Montegua, who may or may not have been a descendant of the original.