Friday, November 02, 2007

"Queen of the Pacific": Sinaloa cartel bigshot has popular Mexican following

A glamorous, larger than life Mexican woman who allegedly slept and murdered her way to the top of the ascendant Sinaloa cartel, Sandra Avila Beltran, faces extradition to the United States. Her story reads like a bad movie plot: "The Mexican media can't get enough of her good looks, charm, and pouting poise," says the UK Guardian, and "According to the El Universal newspaper she has married twice, both times to police-commanders-turned-traffickers. Both husbands were later executed."

It's hard to understand what's going on in the Mexican cartel wars without paying strict attention to who's fighting who, or in this case, who's f%$#ing who. C'est la vie. Disturbingly, if unsurprisingly, the media and a large portion of the Mexican public appears to sympathize more with her, to judge from this AP article (Oct. 4), than those who seek to prosecute her:
the story of her arrest and possible extradition to the U.S. is being followed more closely than a telenovela.

Police say the raven-haired 46-year-old spent more than a decade working her way to the top echelons of Mexico's male-dominated drug trade, uniting Colombian and Mexican gangs, and seducing several notorious kingpins.

Dubbed the "Queen of the Pacific," she even has her own song — a "narcocorrido" folk ballad about drug traffickers by Los Tucanes de Tijuana that pays homage to her as "a top lady who is a key part of the business."

Since her arrest last week, the song has been playing often on Mexican radio, and television stations are repeatedly broadcasting a video showing her coyly telling police that she is just a housewife and businesswoman. The clip had been seen 40,000 times on YouTube as of Thursday.

Avila Beltran lived largely unnoticed in the northern cities of Guadalajara and Hermosillo until 2001. That's when police found more than nine tons of cocaine on a ship in the Pacific port of Manzanillo and tracked the shipment to her and her 39-year-old lover, Juan Diego Espinoza Ramirez — known as "the Tiger" and also wanted by U.S. authorities.

It was her romance with Espinoza Ramirez that brought together two powerful cocaine organizations, Mexico's Sinaloa gang and Colombia's Norte del Valle cartel, prosecutors say.

Officials say Avila Beltran was head of "public relations" for the Sinaloa cartel, an unprecedented role for a woman, and as such helped move cocaine from Colombia.

Her success was likely aided by an influential family. She is the niece of Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, "the godfather" of Mexican drug smuggling, who is serving a 40-year sentence in Mexico for drug smuggling and the murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in Mexico's western Jalisco state.

Another uncle, Juan Jose Quintero Payan, was extradited to the U.S. last January on drug-trafficking charges, Assistant Federal Public Safety Secretary Patricio Patino said.

The only other woman believed to be part of a cartel's leadership is Avila Beltran's distant relative Enedina Arellano Felix, who experts say took over the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix cartel after one of her brothers was killed in a police shootout and her other brother was arrested.

Mexican media have said Avila Beltran had love affairs with other drug lords, as well, which helped catapult her into the elite of drug trafficking. Among the purported lovers were Ismael Zambada, a leader of the Sinaloa cartel, and alleged methamphetamine kingpin Ignacio Coronel.

The arrest and possible extradition of the "Queen of the Pacific" marks one of the few high level arrests of Sinaloa cartel leaders. Most Mexican enforcement has focused on the Gulf Cartel, leading some of the President's critics to speculate Cardenas' strategy may be to take out the weaker gang and cut a deal with the remaining smugglers - mainly the Sinaloa group - in order to reduce nationwide violence. The Government denies this, naturally, which could partially explain why Avila Beltran's case has received so much publicity in Mexico.


Anonymous said...

You're putting the CIA and DEA out of business!

Anonymous said...

she looks harmless.

Anonymous said...

Gee, and we the tax payers spent how many BILLIONS to be able to spend MILLIONS MORE? Now we get to pay to bring her here, why don't they keep her?? Why do the American tax payers have to spend MILLIONS to house her the rest of her life? Is there any doubt that these Multi-Billion dollar organization don't have a plan in place when this happens? The new leadership took over the minute she was arrested!

The truth is, as we force our failed policy around the world. They demand we take care of those we have decide are, bad. Yet they have no problem taking BILLIONS in aid??? So this failed policy can flaunt a much needed poster gangster to justify it funding and sole need for existing! If the country she comes from is so corrupt they can't put her on trial and put her in prison! How “ STUPID “ is it for we the tax payers to be sending the same corrupt country BILLIONS?? They can't even take care of their own criminals, BUT we are to believe they can take care of our tax dollars?? I CALL BULL SHIT!

There Has To Be A Better Way!

Rusty White

Anonymous said...

I'd hit it.

Anonymous said...

she isn't here because she wants to be the us dea and government is stupid enough to bring her now take that up with the put here back in mexico and in a matter of weeks she will be out and u think the orginizations aren't going to make billions with out her your wrong now tell the us government to keep there nose out of mexican politics because little do they know the government in mexico works along side the SINALOA cartle and plus doesn't the us government have a war they are fighting.... but I almost forgot ur president is the biggest coke head and probably buys kilos from the SINALOA cartel hahaha que VIVA MEXICO Y PURO SINALOA CABRONES Y YA DEJAN A LA REYNA EM PAS

Anonymous said...

lolz id hit it as well....Y arriva EL CARTEL DE GUADALAJARA.

Anonymous said...

puro sinaloa perros

Anonymous said...

Puro Sinaloa Plebes, Btw She Don't Sell Drugs She Sell Clothes, She Said It HerSelf =]

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Jesus, his father or the Virgin Mary think about drugs?

Anonymous said...