HomeNewsBriefColombian Beauty Queen Convicted of Drug Smuggling in Argentina
BRIEF

Colombian Beauty Queen Convicted of Drug Smuggling in Argentina

ARGENTINA / 4 NOV 2011 BY RONAN GRAHAM EN

An Argentine court has sentenced a former Colombian beauty queen to six years and eight months in prison for her role at the head of a cocaine trafficking network that ran from Argentina to Europe.

Angie Sanclemente, dubbed the “narcomodelo,” was convicted on November 2 of attempting to traffic narcotics out of the country. She is accused of recruiting young female drug mules to smuggle drugs into Mexico and, from there, on to Europe.

Sanclemente’s Argentine boyfriend, Nicolas Gualco, and his uncle, Daniel Monroy, were also sentenced to six years and eight months imprisonment for the same crime.

A police investigation began in December 2009 when Argentine model Maria Noel Lopez was arrested at a Buenos Aires airport and found in possession of 55 kilos of cocaine. She was attempting to board a flight to Cancun, Mexico. Following a confession by Lopez, police uncovered an international drug smuggling operation, headed by Sanclemente, her boyfriend and his uncle, and dedicated to recruiting Argentinean models to smuggle drugs into Mexico in exchange for $5,000.

Sanclemente, once crowned Colombia’s “Queen of Coffee” in a beauty pageant, has vigorously protested her innocence. She claims her only crime was falling in love with Nicolas Gualco and has indicated her belief that her nationality had much to do with the guilty verdict.

Sanclemente’s is not the first indication that Colombian drug trafficking networks are setting up shop in Argentina.  Indeed, recent evidence suggests that this is something of a trend, as Colombian traffickers are being driven out of their country following a heightened crackdown by security forces. According to Colombian newspaper El Pais, “the Colombian drug trade has shifted to the south of the continent.” Argentina, as an important transshipment point for trafficking drugs to Europe, is now becoming a favored base for drug kingpins as part of this trend.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 9 AUG 2011

The strategic Colombian peninsula of La Guajira, a sought after departure point for drugs heading across the Caribbean, may be…

COLOMBIA / 10 OCT 2019

Recent raids on illegal mining operations in Timbiquí, Cauca were part of a broad crackdown on criminal economies being used…

COLOMBIA / 15 MAR 2021

A former chief justice of Colombia’s Supreme Court has been found guilty of corruption in a case that illustrates how…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…