Mexican Beauty Queen Killed in Shootout Sheds Light on Ugly Truth

Heartbreaking 8

dead flowersThe tragic murder of Mexican beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez on Saturday came as a horrible shock to fans, family, and friends -- but perhaps not as much of a shock as it should have been. See, when 20-year-old Gomez was killed in a shootout between military troops and a drug gang in the northern state of Sinaloa, it wasn't simply because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like too many other young, beautiful women on the Mexican pageant circuit, Gomez is suspected of "having ties" to the violent criminals. And the reason why these young, beautiful women keep ending up with drug traffickers is both tragic and shocking indeed.

According to Miss Narco author Javier Valdez, "in a country that doesn't offer many opportunities for young people," organized crime represents wealth and power. Security (ironically). Even though getting involved with these gangs is incredibly dangerous, to women like Gomez, it often feels like the safest option. In the beginning, drug traffic kingpins might shower beauty queens with attention and expensive gifts, and make promises of protection (often extending to family members). But those same vows to safeguard can become threats to harm the second a woman resists participating in actual crimes, and so the trap is set. Leaving is scarier than staying.

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Valdez calls them "disposable objects," "pretty young women who are tossed away in two or three years, or are turned into police or killed."

And there's no telling how many more beautiful girls will suffer the same ugly fate.

Do you think there's any way to stop what happened to Maria Susana Flores Gomez from happening again and again?

Image via Joshua Veitch-Michaelis/Flickr

death, in the news, crime


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stara... starandseen

To answer the question, I don't think so. Another girl is already the next Maria, I'm sure. There's no way police or anyone can stop something like this. They can't possibly catch everyone who does this. Similar to gangs in the US. No matter how much the police try t

stara... starandseen

Oops, wrong button. Gangs will always exist, along with violence and drugs. It's as culture their life.

hello... hellokd87

As stated in the article, they are showered with lavish gifts and offered "protection". As little opportunities they have, these beautiful women have no choice but to join the beauty pageant circuit & become one of the narco queens without wanting any real involvement in the organized crime. Despite educating them in the dangers and horros of getting involved, I think some of these women could also get forced into it as well.

Austin Keenan

Are the women just trying to use their beauty as a shortcut to an easy life?     Can't they take the same tough path that  ugly women take?    Teach them the basic "if it seems too good to be true,  it probably is" and "nothing is free" and hope they work it out for themselves before getting in too deep.  

dirti... dirtiekittie

wow, while i feel pretty badly for the poor beauty queen, what about the thousands of innocent men, women and children that are murdered every year by the cartel? oh wait, we don't know how many anymore because the president of Mexico no longer releases those numbers. right.

while my heart goes out to these young women, they are not the only victims. and until the Mexican government can actually do something about the cartels (which is how likely? not very!) this will be a way of life for Mexico. oh yeah, and the current president on his way out cares about voting to 'change the name of Mexico to sound less like the United States' more than the fact that he has a non-existent police and military force that can fight against the cartels. the real question is, can Mexico ever be saved?

Wheep... Wheepingchree

legalize and regulate the drugs. especially marijuana. take away the core reason for the crime, the crime - along with all the devastation it causes - will disappear.

Felly... FellyScarlett

It's not like they have a choice. Drug Cartel walks up and says "Hey, be my woman" you can't just say no. They'll just kill you then. That's what you people don't seem to get. This isn't your neighbourhood street gang. They'll kill your family for saying no.

purpl... purple_creeper

I live on a border town. My FIL was kidnapped when visiting family in the mexican side. One of my best friends has been missing from over there for 5 months...we were told they were killed. The cartels are training teens and if you dont join they kill you or your family. Its feels awful to worry about our fam in that side....a cousin "went missing" like 2 years ago....its really scary and sad that ppl dont know whats going on

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