Mexican Beauty Queen Killed in Shootout

Martin Duran, San Francisco Chronicle, November 27, 2012

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. {snip}

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.

Maria Gamez

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.


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.


Javier Valdez, the author of a 2009 book about narco ties to beauty pageants entitled “Miss Narco,” said “this is a recurrent story.”

“There is a relationship, sometimes pleasant and sometimes tragic, between organized crime and the beauty queens, the pageants, the beauty industry itself,” Valdez said.

“It is a question of privilege, power, money, but also a question of need,” said Valdez. “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.”

Sometimes drug traffickers seek out beauty queens, but sometimes the models themselves look for narco boyfriends, Valdez said.

“I once wrote about a girl I knew of who was desperate to get a narco boyfriend,” he said. “She practically took out a classified ad saying ‘Looking for a Narco’.”


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  • Angry White Woman

    Ms. Flores-Gomez may have had a “Hispanic” name, but looking at her picture it is obvious she was of White, European ethnicity. Not a Mestizo in any aspect. Why this beautiful young white woman was in the company of narco-criminals is the question here. “Not many opportunities” is an excuse, not a reason.

    • Pelayo

      So many women’s Achilles Heel manifests itself in their choice of “men” ( I use the term loosely) with whom they want to associate. Why do so many “beautiful young White women” prefer to lie with dogs? What happened to teaching ones children self respect?

    • The__Bobster

      I haven’t seen a Mexican beauty queen who wasn’t White. They filter out the Mestizos by putting in a height requirement for the contestants.

      Warning! Lots of women in skimpy bikinis.

      • pcmustgo

        Ah, guess again, the women in that article, in those pics, have plenty of non-white blood in them… mestizo isn’t just have white/half amer-ind… Adriana Lima even has some black blood in her. YOU GUYS OBVIOUSLY DON’T GET WHAT THE BLEACHING LOOKS LIKE OVER GENERATIONS…. 1/16th this or that.

        • Adriana Lima is Brazilian, not Mexican. It is conceivable that she would have some black blood since Brazil is has the largest black population outside of Africa.

        • Michael_C_Scott

          I’m 3/16 Amerind, but the US northeastern woodland people never looked much like Mayans or Aztecs. Fair skin, brown hair and grey eyes here.

      • Light skin is their standard of beauty. If you look at Spanish language tv, there are no dark skinned Mexicans there. All of the women are young, slender light skinned beauty queen types.

      • LaSantaHermandad

        I saw the pictures. “Que Dios las bendiga y proteja”.

    • pcmustgo

      Ah, sorry, sweetie she has those super dark eyes and hair… .yes, she has amer-ind blood in her… just a tiny bit… maybe even black…. you must not have experience with what a 1/8th black or 1/8th amer-ind looks like = pretty damn white. Obama’s mama has a tiny bit of black in her too.,

      • pcmustgo

        Those Spaniards are mixed anyways…. they had moor blood in them, many of them.

        • Son of Sambo

          I don’t know why this crap gets through but my comments on CI don’t.

      • “Obama’s mama has a tiny bit of black in her too.” It was probably more than a tiny bit; probably quite large.

  • Puggg

    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.

    Can we take this to mean that judging Mexican beauty pageants isn’t exactly above board?

  • MekongDelta69

    Winning the “Woman of Sinaloa” beauty pageant is akin to winning the “Woman of Spanish Harlem” title.

    That’s like me winning the “Poster of the Year” at the Daily Kos or the Democratic Underground site.

    All useless…

    • pcmustgo


      • pcmustgo

        As in the asian/black/latina women resent me more than this brown thing…. her dark brown eyes and hair (not saying she’s ugly- just kinda plain with all that brown).

  • Michael_C_Scott

    Once again, we can judge an individual by the company they keep.

  • Katherine McChesney

    Probably likes their machismo and wealth.

    • *ding, ding, ding*

      We have a winner. It’s the Mexican “machismo” culture at work.

  • Stealthmodeon

    This is Hypergamy – not racial… As the attraction to status and power is in all females in all species….

    Google it.

  • jay11

    Another white hispanic, but she looks way more white than zimmerman. (remember him?)

    • pcmustgo

      I’ve known “white hispanics” with blond hair. She is not fully white….

      • Former Cuban American talk show host Cristiana Sieralagui is blonde and blue eyed.

  • JohnEngelman

    Is it true what they say about nice guys coming in last?

    • pcmustgo

      No, you nice guys just don’t necessarily get the “hot girls”…. (lol, unless they are asian). You nice guys get nice girls… You nice guys get girls, but the sort of more plain jane ones…. Actually, I’ve known some nice guys to get women who were super hot…. This really depends on the woman’s personality- don’t take it personally.

      • JohnEngelman

        A man will attract a woman or he will not on the basis of how attractive he is, how successful he is, and who else she has access to. Gentleness, sensitivity, compassion, and a good sense of humor seldom hurt a man’s chances, but they do not close the deal if that is all he has to offer.

        Most women would rather a man acquire a lot of money legally than illegally, but they would rather he acquire a lot illegally than not at all.

        • Michael_C_Scott

          What you have just said about women would get me pilloried if I said the same things about Jews.

      • Son of Sambo

        Plain janes are worse than useless, and any man who takes one as a mate is obviously suffering from some sort of deviant sexuality.

  • pcmustgo


  • Pelayo

    I don’t know WHERE some of you get this idea that dark eyes and dark hair equal non- Whiteness. If you use THAT criterion, the White population is less than half of what the census says it is. Hitler, Goebbels, Hess, Rommel, Goering and many others didn’t have the physical attributes to qualify as being Aryans.

    • Son of Sambo

      The intellectual quality on this board has greatly declined over the past year or so.

  • bluffcreek1967

    I think we’re all being a little too hard on the young beauty queen. More than likely, she was returning from one of the many Hispanic Republican rallies in her area. A group of the local Democrats felt threatened at how many Hispanics want to now become Republicans and, sadly, decided to pepper her with AK-47 rounds. This was just a political dispute, that’s all.

    The State of Sinaloa is known for its support of Republican causes, and its been rumored that they are consolidating their efforts to help elect Jeb Bush in 2016. Once America gives all Mexicans amnesty, they plan to leave Sinaloa and join the GOP ranks . . . . No, seriously.

  • I think the money is what attracts these women to the narcos. Many of them may come from poor families and use their looks to get what they want.

  • san antone

    The ones killed were future Americans but of course they are harmless and wouldnt harm a fly.

  • Michael_C_Scott

    Reading this reminded me of one of my favorite Robert Heinlein quotes about the punishment for stupidity being death. The sentence is carried out without mercy, and there is no appeal.

    Really, did Maria imagine those guys carry automatic weapons as a sort of macho fashion statement? (Does the H&K MP-5 look better with the herringbone tweed, or should I carry the CAR-15?) Even though it was the army in this case, the level of violence the narcos direct at each other and their families absolutely includes girlfriends. It also takes a uniquely shallow individual to shack up with someone who orders newspaper reporters tortured and beheaded.

    Money isn’t everything, and certainly bleeding to death on a road while trying to stuff one’s intestines back where they belong isn’t glamorous. There are better things in life I wouldn’t expect a 20 year-old to understand, like having the same close friends for 30-35 years, or sharing an office with a Chinese fellow in Sydney, Australia and discovering his favorite bookstore is “The Tattered Cover” in Denver (yes, the world really is that small!) New clothes? I’m wearing jeans, a free t-shirt from Wells Fargo, a heavy “Field & Stream” hunting shirt, nine year-old eyeglasses and boots that are old enough to vote. My wife’s petite, so she gets casual clothes at girls’ “back to school” sales, and sews her good office dresses herself. When we visited my mother in Boulder last week, we all took an hour bicycle ride. Mom’s 70 and still in good shape, and her sister is 67 and can barely walk. Surely one’s health matters more than the clothes one wears. Eating out is nice, but we eat out only three times a year:on our birthdays and on our anniversary. I like reverse-engineering my favorite restaurant dishes from places I’ve been, though I scale the portions to people who don’t look like Jabba the Hutt. When we got married and needed a second car, I built one, a 1931 Model A Ford with the engine and tranny out of my old Mazda RX-7. With an 8.8-inch Ford rear end, I had to have the driveshaft custom-made. We can’t afford tropical vacations, but one doesn’t really need those things.

    One of my childhood friends also died at about the same age. He was tearing down Boulder Canyon on a Japanese racing motorcycle in August 1987 and missed a turn. He hit the guardrail and was catapulted way out over the streambed, where he landed on dry rocks. Dale was wearing a helmet, but it didn’t really matter. Alcohol and cocaine were in his system, which explains the mishap. He was 21, and he’s been dead longer than he was alive.

    Lifestyle choices have costs, and young people are able to make permanent decisions for themselves before they’ve started to figure things out. Sometimes these choices are fatal.