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Breaking News Forum Police detain Mexican beauty queen at News Forum - CNN - Found 4 hours ago Laura Zuniga and the men were traveling Monday night in two vehicles that contained ...

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Old 12-24-2008, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default Police detain Mexican beauty queen

CNN - Found 4 hours ago
Laura Zuniga and the men were traveling Monday night in two vehicles that contained AR-15 assault rifles, 38-caliber specials, 9 mm handguns, ...
Police seize Mexican beauty queen - CNN
World Briefing | The Americas: Mexico: Guns, Cash and a Tiara - New York Times
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Police detain Mexican beauty queen
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:01 AM   #2
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Mexican Beauty Queen Killed in Shootout...

Mexican state beauty queen killed in shootout between suspected traffickers, soldiers
Nov 27, 2012 : 20-year-old may have fired back at army
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A 20-year-old state beauty queen died 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 not uncommon ties between narcos and beautiful pageant contestants. The body of Maria Susana Flores Gamez was found Saturday lying near an assault rifle on a rural road in a mountainous area of the drug-plagued state of Sinaloa, the chief state prosecutor said Monday. It was unclear 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 said. "That's what we're going to have to investigate."

The slender, 5-foot-7-inch brunette was voted the 2012 Woman of Sinaloa in a beauty pageant in February. In June, the model 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 said 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 said two other members of the drug gang were killed and four were detained.


In this April 26, 2012 photo, Maria Susana Flores Gamez poses for a photo for a story about upcoming representation of Mexico at a beauty pageant in China, in Culiacan, Mexico.

The shootout began 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 escaped, and the gunbattle continued along a nearby roadway, where the gang's vehicles were eventually 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.

In "Miss Bala," Mexico's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of this year's Academy Awards, a young woman competing for Miss Baja California becomes an unwilling participant in a drug-running ring, finally getting arrested for deeds she was forced into performing. In real life, former Miss Sinaloa Laura Zuniga was stripped of her 2008 crown in the Hispanoamerican Queen pageant after she was detained on suspicion of drug and weapons violations. She was later released without charges. Zuniga was detained in western Mexico in late 2010 along with seven men, some of them suspected drug traffickers. Authorities found a large stash of weapons, ammunition and $53,300 with them inside a vehicle.

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Old 11-27-2012, 04:28 PM   #3
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Soldiers: Mexico beauty queen had gun in her hands
Nov 27,`12 -- Mexican soldiers say beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez had a gun in her hands when she was killed in a hail of gunfire over the weekend.
Quote:
A federal official says soldiers described the confrontation in a military report. The official had access to the report but is not authorized to be quoted by name.

The report says the gunmen she was traveling with lined up behind Flores Gamez as they descended from vehicles and shot it out with soldiers, suggesting she may have been used as a human shield.

The federal official said Tuesday that investigators were still awaiting tests to determine whether she fired the assault rifle found near her body. Two other gunmen were killed in the hours-long gunbattle Saturday in the northern state of Sinaloa.

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Old 02-23-2013, 11:51 PM   #4
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Was she or wasn't she drug lord's moll?...

No escape from narcos for Mexican beauty queen
Feb 23,`13 -- Maria Susana Flores walked up to the microphone in a sequined black dress, showing the judges of the Sinaloa Woman beauty contest the smile and the strut she had perfected in pageants since preschool.
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"Women, no matter how hard you try, you cannot change your past," the 20-year-old contestant said in a sweet, high voice. "But you can choose today what your future will be." Drums rolled as Susana left center stage and turned to pose, placing manicured hands on her tiny waist and shaking back long brown hair. The crowd whooped. The judges were dazzled by the dark-eyed beauty with the Penelope Cruz lips, and before long she was bowing her head to accept the 2012 crown.

If you had asked her that February weekend, the new Sinaloa Woman would have said the future she'd chosen was clear: a calendar of pageants as far away as China, a chance to compete for the coveted Miss Sinaloa title, and then, Miss Mexico. But Susy, as she was called, had chosen another path at the crossroads of power and beauty in a state known for drug lords and pageant queens. It was a fateful choice. In November, Susy died like a mobster's moll, carrying an AK-47 assault rifle into a spray of gunfire from Mexican soldiers. Hit below the neck, she dropped into a dirt field and bled to death, her carotid artery severed. "I swear I would have never imagined, ever in my life, that my daughter would die like this," said Maria del Carmen Gamez, Susy's devoted manager and biggest fan.

- - - - - - - - -

Sinaloa, with its acres of corn and tomatoes, is the birthplace of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa cartel who is one of the wealthiest men in Mexico and one of the most-wanted men in the world. A long narrow state, it hugs the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean, though Mazatlan, its most popular resort town, has lost its luster under the violence of the drug wars. The cartel's internal battles over the international cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana trade has given the state one of Mexico's highest murder rates, while the drug business has provided its riches.

Thousands of Sinaloans are drawn wittingly or unwittingly into the narco economy, with vague titles such as "farmer" or "businessman" often serving as code for the more pedestrian jobs in the drug trade. Thousands more, from accountants to bar owners to musicians, cannot escape the reach of the drug cartels.

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Confusion over Mexico drug-lord death reports
22 Feb 2013 - Guatemalan official apologises for misunderstanding over reports that Joaquin "El Chapo" died amid clashes.
Quote:
A Guatemalan official has said there was no evidence that Mexico's most-wanted drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, had been killed in a shootout in the rural north, calling such reports a misunderstanding. Mauricio Lopez Bonilla, interior minister, told local media on Friday that the original account was based on testimony from residents in San Valentin near the Mexican border, but that soldiers and police scanning the area found no sign of any confrontation. "I apologise if where was a misunderstanding," Lopez told the Guatemalan radio station Emisores Unidos. "It was a mix-up. We were referring to information generated from the area that there was possibly a crime scene with a dead person resembling El Chapo." Authorities mounted the search on Friday in the tropical state of Peten, an isolated area known for the transport of livestock. "As of now, we have no verification," Lopez said.

Most wanted fugitive

An Associated Press news agency photographer in the area also found no signs of shootout or victims, just a checkpoint of 12 soldiers stopping vehicles in an area considered to be held by Mexico's Zetas cartel, Guzman's biggest rivals. Guzman heads the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico's most powerful international drug-trafficking network, and has been in hiding since escaping from a Mexican prison in a laundry cart in 2001. He is one of the world's most wanted fugitives, as well as one of the richest. Forbes magazine has estimated his fortune at $1 billion. Lopez said on Thursday that authorities were investigating whether Guzman was one of at least two men killed in the remote area. But the government later backtracked and said it had only received reports of a battle from local people.

Francisco Cuevas, government spokesman, first told Guatevision Television that two drug gangs had clashed in Peten, an area that has seen an increase in drug violence and that at least two men had died in the shoot-out. Peten province is an isolated area of jungle and ranches where 27 ranch workers were massacred in 2011 by the Zetas drug gang, a top rival for Guzman's Sinaloa drug cartel. Later, Cuevas told Mexico's Televisa network that authorities had not yet found a body or the scene where reports said a shoot-out took place. He never said what led officials to think that one of the dead men might be Guzman. Guzman, who has been in hiding since escaping from a Mexican prison in a laundry cart in 2001, is one of the world's most dangerous and most wanted fugitives.

He is also one of the richest: Forbes magazine has estimated his fortune at $1bn. Al Jazeera's John Hendren, reporting from Mexico City, said that the incident "is one of the more spectacular examples of initial information apparently being wrong". "In this case what we had was Guatemalan officials speaking on the record to a broad range of news organisations and confirming, first of all, that there was a shoot-out on the Guatemalan boarder with Mexico, and second of all, that they were investigating the possibility that Joaquin Guzman ... was one of the victims there," he said. "Today we're told that that in fact was not true, that those reports were based on reports to Guatemalan officials from local area people."

Confusion over Mexico drug-lord death reports - Americas - Al Jazeera English
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