Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mexican beauty queen dies with AK-47 at her side

Laid to rest with symbols of her brief life's accomplishments

Guadalajara -
The reigning Miss Sinaloa was buried by her family and friends last Sunday, dressed as a beauty queen with scepter in hand.

She was killed two days before in a shootout between armed gunmen and Mexican security forces. Investigators say an AK-47 assault rifle - commonly known here as the cuernos de chivo, or goat horns, due to its magazine shape - was found within inches of her body. They suspect she may have participated in the fatal firefight.

María Susana Flores, seen here in a Facebook image, was quietly laid to rest in Guamúchil, Mexico, a modest city of about 70,000 people 100 kilometers north of Culiacán, the capital of Sinaloa state on the country's Pacific coast. Culiacán and its environs have been a hotbed of drug trafficking, organized crime and narco violence since the drug war was launched in December 2006.

Susana Flores, whose age has been variously given as 20 or 22 by press sources, was known to everyone as Susy. There is evidence she worked with at least some of the men with whom she died, presumed operatives of the Sinaloa Cartel. One of them was her boyfriend. Military officials said that at the last moment they tried to use her as a human shield in the brief but deadly combat with an armed unit on routine patrol. Susana Flores' body was turned over to her aunt and grandmother.

Susana Flores was elected Miss Sinaloa 2012 last February. She was also named Mexico's Model of the Year in 2009. She had represented Mexico in a beauty competition in China.

The gunmen Susana Flores was traveling with on Saturday attacked the passing military convoy, according to prosecutors. One of them was killed almost immediately, and the rest fled to a nearby safe house where they were pursued and surrounded by soldiers. Another shootout erupted, but the men broke out in a desperate attempt to flee the area. They hijacked a car not far away, killing a 54 year old woman behind the wheel. The men and Susana Flores were cut down by troops soon after. Authorities are trying to determine if she fired any of the shots exchanged during the gun battle.

A military spokesperson reported that one solider was killed by the assailants during the skirmish, and four others were wounded. In the safe house troops found a weapons cache including grenades and a grenade launcher, more than a thousand rounds of ammunition and six vehicles, one of which was armor-plated.

Dec. 19 - News sources report that some of the weapons used in the gun battle which killed Miss Sinaloa entered the country under the DEA's Fast and Furious program. The secret operation which was designed to track assault weapon usage by drug cartels through embedded micro chips was a spectacular failure, and prompted a series of congressional hearings which still aren't over. Several law enforcement and Justice Dept. officials were forced to resign. Criminal prosecutions are possible.

Feb. 24, 2013 - An excellent Associated Press story today recounts at length the tragic story of María "Susy" Flores, and her ultimately fatal decision to become involved with members of the Sinaloa Cartel. The still disputed question is whether on the day of her death Flores was an active combatant, or a human shield. The details are in Triste fin de reina de belleza seducida por narco - "The sad end of a beauty queen seduced by narcos."

Feb. 25, 2014 - The Guzmán girls, home grown in Sinaloa

Jan. 20 - Weapons seizures in Mexico soared under president Felipe Calderón
Jan. 18 - "Fast and Furious" arms were involved in shootout which killed Miss Sinaloa
Feb. 10 - Mexican marines arrest chief executioner for El Chapo Guzmán in Sinaloa state
Dec. 17 - The Second Amendment and the NRA tour Mexico
Dec. 16 - El País asks, "¿Quién desarma a EE UU?" - Who will disarm the United States?

Eight executed during Culiacán volleyball game by gunmen carrying AK-47s, AR-15s
"Naive" Canadian gangsters pay heavily doing business with Mexican drug cartels
Is Mexico closing in on El Chapo Guzmán?
Canadian murdered on Pacific coast - but lingering questions and mystery remain
Sinaloa governor gets family out of Mexico
New terror strikes Sinaloa, as bodies of 20 kidnapping victims are found burned, shot
Mayor of Pacific coast resort survives assassination attempt

The cuernos de chivo, ubiquitous in Mexico's long running drug war. Almost all enter Mexico from the United States, where they're readily available for under $1,000. That's petty cash for traffickers, who earn $20 billion annually from U.S. customers.

"Dear friends in the United States - please, no more assault weapons to Mexico"

1 comment:

  1. pray for mexico to rid the cartel and have a peaceful home again for us all,,,