Born in Medellin, Colombia, Hector Luis Bustamante and his family moved to the United States at the age of 12. He began to act in school plays but was discouraged at being told his accent would never allow him to be a professional actor, Bustamante then decided to put his acting dreams on hold and after high school, spent the next several years honing his artistic talent. In 1995, he enrolled in the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York to study graphic design yet he still yearned to act again. One afternoon heading home from work, he stumbled unto the set of "Nash Bridges" noticed that one of the leads was both Latino and had an accent. His return to acting was cemented. In 1999, Bustamante made the decision to enroll in acting classes at the Shelton's Actors' Studio In San Francisco, where he studied under the watchful eye of acting coach and mentor Jean Shelton. In 2002, Bustamante got his first major television role appearing on CBS drama series "The Agency," playing the head of the Colombian police. Two years later, Bustamante broke onto the movie scene as one of Bruce Willis' police officers in the film "Hostage" for Miramax.