HomeNewsBriefMexico's 'Queen of the Pacific' Acquitted
BRIEF

Mexico's 'Queen of the Pacific' Acquitted

SINALOA CARTEL / 6 DEC 2010 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

Sandra Avila Beltrán, better known to the Mexican media as the "Queen of the Pacific," and her love interest, Colombian Juan Diego Espinosa Ramírez, alias "El Tigre," were acquitted last week by a Mexican federal court of drug trafficking and organized crime charges.

Avila Beltrán and Espinosa (who was a member of the Norte del Valle cartel in Colombia) were arrested in September of 2007. Authorities accused them of working with the Sinaloa cartel and the Norte del Valle cartel to smuggle illicit drugs into the United States. 

Espinosa was extradited to the United States and has cooperated with U.S. authorities. But Avila Beltrán's extradition has stalled, and the possibility she could go free could put a thorn into U.S.-Mexican relations. 

Mexico's El Proceso reports that a judge of Mexico’s 18th District Court last Friday ruled that the evidence presented by the Attorney General “did not establish the circumstances of time, manner, place and occasion” in which the crimes were committed.

Despite her acquittal, Avila Beltrán will remain in prison while she awaits the decision about her extradition.

Mexico has extradited over 350 suspected criminals to the United States since President Felipe Calderón took power in December 2006. The list includes some of the most sought after cartel leaders, such as Osiel Cárdenas, the former head of the Gulf Cartel, extradited in 2007.

But for every top-level capo extradited from Mexico, there's an equally high-level cartel member who the U.S. has requested that remains in a Mexican jail or whose extradition request was rejected outright. This includes the case of Alfredo Beltrán Leyva, a leader of the Beltrán Leyva Organization, who was arrested in January 2008.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

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.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EL MAYO / 1 OCT 2015

The sons of a top Sinaloa Cartel drug capo from Mexico are set to take over the family…

EL MAYO / 14 NOV 2014

Mexico's security forces have captured the son of Sinaloa Cartel leader Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada in an operation reportedly directed…

CONTRABAND / 9 DEC 2014

Paraguay's president has once again been identified as a beneficiary of Latin America's contraband cigarette trade, this time in Mexico,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…