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Cocaine, guns, nazis, beauty queens… the most Wonderful Time of the Year!

24 December 2008

Updates in italics.

If you managed to convince John Le Carré, Gabriel García Márquez and Danielle Steel to plot of a collaborative novel, you couldn’t come up with anything nearly as good as what you find just reading the crime pages of the Latin American newspapers… the gift that keeps on giving all year round for bizarro entertainment.

Alleged Juarez narco-biggie Angel Orlando García Urquiza was captured the other night in Zapopan, Jalisco.  The  Toyota SUV and a Chevy pick-up had on board the usual gangster cargo — 2 AR-15s, three pisols, nine mazagine clips, 600 various rounds of ammunition, 16 mobile phones, marijuana, cocaine, 18,000 US dollars in cash (some reports say up to 100,000 five more guys… and — sorry, no partridge in a pear tree — just Laura Zúñiga Huizar, the newly crowned Reina Hispanamerica 2008.

The last is what makes this story interesting.  Laura Zúñiga Huizar, of Culiacan (where else?) said she was headed for Colombia and  Bolivia on a shopping trip.  That sounds incredible. I could see gangsters heading for Colombia on a buying trip … but they may have making a sales call, given the weapons and cash, suggested by this item from “World War Four Report“:

Colombian authorities announced Dec. 19 the dismantling of a narco network linked to Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, with seven arrested by the elite Technical Investigation Group (CTI) in the cities of Calí, Palmira and Bogotá. Vehicles, “communications equipment” and four weapons were seized. The CTI said the ring smuggled cocaine, heroin and marijuana to Mexico from the southern port of Tumaco.” (Xinhua, El Pais, Cali, Dec. 19)

Zúñiga was the winner of something called “Nuesta Belliza Sinoala”… which qualified her for the  “Reina Hispanamerica” contest.  These contest, and several others throughout Latin America arerun by an outfit called “Promociones Gloria“.

“Gloria”  is  Gloria Suárez de Limpias whose Latin American   modeling and beauty contest empire is headquartered in  Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where  Suárez lives in an exclusive neighborhood.

Santa Cruz, of course, was the center of an attempted fascist coup against the Bolivian government earlier this year, that fell apart despite the U.S. Ambassador’s attempts to support the plotters. The Ambassador, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Agency for International Development were all unceremoniously booted from the country as a result.  One of the Promociones Gloria’s better known contest winners, Mr. Bolivia 2004, Dustin Larsen, together with his father– U.S. born cattle rancher Ronald Larsen — are both now fugitives from Bolivian justice, and said to be hiding in Montana.

Ms. Zúñiga probably had nothing to do with the Bolivian coup (isn’t hanging with gangsters sleazy enough?) and Gloria Suárez de Limpias may be doing nothing worse than running slighly crooked beauty contests won by more than slightly crooked contestants, and having Nazis for neighbors  but … like all too many Latin American crime stories,  making sense of it all is damn near impossible.

Paco  Ignacio Taibo II, aside, there aren’t a lot of Latin America writers who dabble in crime thrillers.  What for?

(News sources: Milenio (Mexico), El Nuevo Día (Bolivia), Huffington Post (USA).  Photos:  Huffington Post)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 24 December 2008 8:12 pm

    Funny…they all look down on Bolivian campesinos who chew coca, but without them, where would they get the coke to smuggle? Someone’s gotta grow the stuff, and I can’t see these beauty-queen types getting their fingernails chipped on it…

  2. 31 October 2010 9:23 am

    beauty queens coming from the latin americas are the best ones “”

  3. Peter Melvoin permalink
    26 February 2014 1:24 pm

    Calling Hunter S.Thompson….

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