Beauty and the Narca: Mexican Drug Cartels and their Supermodels

Another Hydra that we all know is the menacing blood-soaked drug war being fought by the feral heads of Mexico's drug cartels. Over decades 

— By | February 28, 2010

Another Hydra that we all know is the menacing blood-soaked drug war being fought by the feral heads of Mexico’s drug cartels. Those heads seem to multiply the more they are severed by Mexico’s embattled law enforcement and by the fiery internal struggles within the cartels themselves. Over decades of vicious warfare and splintering corruption, other heads have sprouted within the monstrous writhing of the drug industry: “queenpins” and the so-called narcas. Per Constantino Diaz-Duran’s journal on The Daily Beast, the savage battle for control over the drug trade is not restricted to men alone. In Mexico the queenpin celebrities of Blanca Cázares Salazar, “La Emperatriz” (The Empress), and Sandra Ávila Beltrán, “La Reina del Pacífico” (Queen of the Pacific) have reached the same infamous heights as those of their male counterparts.

Just recently, an international warrant has been issued for the arrest of Colombian ex-beauty queen Angie Sanselmente Valencia, an entrepreneurial narca whose entry into the business was managed by audaciously hiring beautiful female models to transport drugs with little to no subterfuge across borders. Her angle? Law officers and airport security pay no mind to the luggage beautiful women carry and will even bend backward to ease them through typical security measures. Sanselmente called her drug couriers “angels” and paid each one a minimum of $5,000 per trip. After several months the scheme worked, until one of her angels was caught (literally) heavy-handedly toting a suitcase filled with 120 pounds of cocaine.

Read the full article here. For more on Mexico’s queenpins read here. For a trip through Mexico City’s private “drug museum” (in which the natural history of drug culture and narcotraficantes are explored in pop installations of Jesus Malverde busts and gold-plated pistols) check out the Newsweek photo slideshow.

Comments

2 Responses to Beauty and the Narca: Mexican Drug Cartels and their Supermodels

  1. a. on February 28, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    If the “plot” of 2666 could be spoiled I suppose this would be a spoiler…

    Funny how you managed to hit several plot points of Bolano’s novel (hydra in it’s own right) in this short but impressively informative post.

    How long until we get narca pop ballads in the style of Tigres del Norte + Britney Spears? (if it hasn’t happened already)

  2. Jose-Luis Moctezuma on March 2, 2010 at 9:13 am

    To my shame, I’ve not yet read Bolaño’s 2666; but I s’pose you’re telling me I’ve read a good chunk of it already without knowing it?

    A narcocorrido tinged with the pop mechanics of a Britney joint sounds eerily sophisticated to the point of aphasia. I couldn’t possibly imagine what that’d sound like: or maybe it’d turn out to be nothing other than Paulina Rubio on cold turkey? “El último adiós”?

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