HomeNewsBriefMexican Beauty Queen Dies in Military-Gang Shootout
BRIEF

Mexican Beauty Queen Dies in Military-Gang Shootout

EL CHAPO / 27 NOV 2012 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The death of Miss Sinaloa 2012 in a shootout between the Mexican military and suspects linked to the Sinaloa Cartel points to the links between organized crime and beauty queens in Latin America.

Twenty-year-old Maria Susana Flores Gamez died following a car chase sparked by a military raid on an alleged gang safe house in the town of Guamuchil, Sinaloa state.

Flores’ body was found next to the armored vehicle she had been travelling in. At her side was an assault rifle, although it was not clear whether she had participated in the shootout, according to the local attorney general (see video, below).

Soldiers killed two of the gunmen who were with Flores and arrested four more, while one army sergeant was fatally wounded and a bystander was killed, according to reports.  

InSight Crime Analysis

It is thought that Flores was in a relationship with one of the men, though there have been conflicting reports as to his identity.

Flores would not be the first Latin American beauty queen to become embroiled in the world of organized crime. A number of Mexican, Colombian and Venezuelan queens have been linked to drug traffickers, most famously Emma Coronel, also from Sinaloa, who married Sinaloa Cartel boss drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in 2007.

Flores was also not the first to find herself in a confrontation with the authorities. In 2008, her Miss Sinaloa predecessor Laura Elena Zuñiga was arrested when travelling in a car with alleged drug traffickers, weapons, ammunition and thousands of dollars, although charges were later dropped for lack of evidence.

Earlier this month, Venezuelan authorities charged former “Miss Venezuela” contestant Gabriela Fernandez Ocando, who allegedly worked with now-captured Colombian kingpin Daniel “El Loco” Barrera. Last year, an Argentine court sentenced former Colombian beauty queen Angie Sanclemente to six years and eight months in prison for heading a cocaine trafficking network.

As InSight Crime has commented previously, the involvement of beauty queens in organized crime, whether as participants or hangers-on, can be seen as another manifestation of the “narco-culture” that can be observed in Mexico and other Latin American countries affected by drug trafficking and organized crime.

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

EL MENCHO / 8 APR 2015

Mexico's Jalisco Cartel has reportedly killed 15 police officers in the Pacific state of Jalisco, a brazen act of violence…

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 28 MAR 2014

Authorities in Mexico have arrested an alleged member of an Eastern European mafia organization who led a drug trafficking network…

EL SALVADOR / 25 JUL 2018

Authorities in Guatemala fear that self-defense groups operating in response to a lack of state presence may turn into criminal…

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…