Mexican beauty queen died during a shootout between a suspected drug trafficking gang and soldiers in Sinaloa, news sources report.
2012 Woman of Sinaloa, Maria Susana Flores Gamez, 20, was traveling with a gang of suspected drug traffickers when they engaged in a shootout with military troops. Officers found a rifle near Gamez's body, however, it's not clear who shot her and it is unclear if she engaged in the shootout. The shootout also resulted in the death of two others, CNN reports.
Soldiers engaged in an hours-long chase with the gang, some members escaped during the shootout while others weren't so lucky. Amongst the two members that died, four were detained and officials seized six vehicles along with weapons and drugs. This instance is at least the third in which a beauty queen or pageant contestant has been connected to violent Mexican drug cartels, KENS 5 reports.
Trends where beauty queens or pageant contestants are involved with drug cartels is a sad but common occurrence in countries that offer few opportunities for youth. "They are disposable objects, the lowest link in the chain of criminal organizations," Javier Valdez, author of the 2009 book "Miss Narco," about narcotic ties to beauty pageants, said. "The young men recruited as gunmen and the pretty young women who are tossed away in two or three years, or are turned into the police or killed," CBS News reports.