Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Beauty Queen Killed

A Mexican beauty queen, aged 20, was killed in a gun battle between soldiers and the alleged gang of drug traffickers she was traveling with in a scene befitting the hit movie "Miss Bala," or "Miss Bullet," about Mexico's common ties between narcos and beautiful pageant contestants.

In detail, according to
the chief state prosecutor's statement on Monday the body of Maria Susana Flores Gamez was discovered on Saturday lying near an assault rifle on a rural road in a mountainous area of the drug-plagued state of Sinaloa. It was unknown if she had used the weapon.

"She was with the gang of criminals, but we cannot say whether she participated in the shootout," state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera revealed. "That’s what we're going to have to investigate."

It has to be noted that
Gamez was voted the 2012 Woman of Sinaloa in a beauty pageant in February. In June, Gamez competed with other seven contestants for the more prestigious state beauty contest, Our Beauty Sinaloa, but didn't win. The Our Beauty state winners compete for the Miss Mexico title, whose holder represents the country in the international Miss Universe.

Higuera stated Flores Gamez was traveling in one of the vehicles that engaged soldiers in an hours-long chase and running gun battle on Saturday near her native city of Guamuchil in the state of Sinaloa, home to Mexico's most powerful drug cartel. Higuera claimed two other members of the drug gang were murdered and four were detained.

The shootout started when the gunmen opened fire on a Mexican army patrol. Soldiers gave chase and cornered the gang at a safe house in the town of Mocorito. The other men got away, and the gunbattle kept on along a nearby roadway, where the gang's vehicles werefinally stopped. Six vehicles, drugs and weapons were seized following the confrontation.

It was at least the third instance in which a beauty queen or pageant contestants have been linked to Mexico's violent drug gangs, a theme so common it was the subject of a critically acclaimed 2011 movie.

Higuera stated Flores Gamez's body has been turned over to relatives for burial.

"This is a sad situation," Higuera told a local radio station. She had been enrolled in media courses at a local university, and had been modeling and in pageants since at least 2009.

Javier Valdez, the author of a 2009 book about narco ties to beauty pageants entitled "Miss Narco," revealed "this is a recurrent story."

"There is a relationship, sometimes pleasant and sometimes tragic, between organized crime and the beauty queens, the pageants, the beauty industry itself," Valdez was quoted as saying.

"It is a question of privilege, power, money, but also a question of need," Valdez explained. "For a lot of these young women, it is easy to get involved with organized crime, in a country that doesn't offer many opportunities for young people."

"Sometimes drug traffickers look for beauty queens, but sometimes the models themselves look for narco boyfriends", Valdez continued.

"I once wrote about a girl I knew of who was desperate to get a narco boyfriend," Valdez claimed. "She practically took out a classified ad saying "Looking for a Narco"."

The stories seldom have a happy end. In the best of cases, a beautiful woman with a tear-stained face is marched before the press in handcuffs. In the worst of cases, they simply disappear.

"They are disposable objects, the lowest link in the chain of criminal organizations, the young men recruited as gunmen and the pretty young women who are tossed away in two or three years, or are turned into police or killed," Valdez added.

R.I.P  Maria Susana Flores Gamez 

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