A Mexican beauty queen was shot and killed during a shootout between a gang she was connected with and a group of soldiers. Two gangsters and two soldiers also died in the clash.
Maria Susana Flores Gamez was the 2012 Woman of Sinaloa, reports CNN. The 20-year-old Flores Gamez was killed during a shootout on Saturday between drug traffickers that she was reportedly connected to and a group of soldiers in Mocorito, a city in Sinaloa state in northern Mexico.
According to state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera, ‘‘She was with the gang of criminals, but we cannot say whether she participated in the shootout,” reports The Associated Press. Flores Gamez was found dead near an assault rifle, notes AP.
Flores Gamez won the 2012 Woman of Sinaloa pageant in February and went on to to compete in the Our Beauty Sinaloa contest, which leads to Miss Mexico. She did not win that one.
Flores Gamez was traveling with drug traffickers although it is unclear if they were part of one of the big Mexican cartels. Someone in the vehicle she was in apparently opened fire on a group of soldiers which led to a chase, reports AP.
The chase led the soldiers, drug traffickers and Flores Gamez to a safe house in Mocorito where the battle continued. The soldiers managed to prevail but two soldiers were killed along with the traffickers and beauty queen, reports ABC Univision. Four drug traffickers were arrested, reports AP, and drugs, weapons and the gang's cars were seized.
ABC Univision is also reporting that one of the gang members that was killed was Flores Gamez' boyfriend.
AP notes that this death is just the latest example of a beauty queen being linked to a gang. There have been three recent cases involving beauty queens and gangs in Mexico and South America.
Javier Valdez, author of “Miss Narco,” which details the relationship, told the AP a corrupt pageant system or the power or money that comes from having a boyfriend in a drug cartel can draws the young women in.
“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," he said.