12-23-2008, 11:18 PM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
Mexico - Miss Sinaloa 2008 Laura Zuniga arrested in gun-filled truck
Mexican beauty queen arrested in gun-filled truck
By ARTURO PEREZ, Associated Press Writer Arturo Perez, Associated Press Writer
Tue Dec 23, 6:58 pm ET
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – A reigning Mexican beauty queen from the drug-plagued state of Sinaloa was arrested with suspected gang members in a truck filled guns and ammunition, police said Tuesday.
Miss Sinaloa 2008 Laura Zuniga stared at the ground, with her flowing dark hair concealing her face, as she stood squeezed between seven alleged gunmen lined up before journalists. Soldiers wearing ski masks guarded the 23-year-old model and the suspects.
Zuniga was arrested shortly before midnight on Monday at a military checkpoint in Zapopan, just outside the colonial city of Guadalajara, said Jalisco state police director, Francisco Alejandro Solorio.
Zuniga was riding in one of two trucks, where soldiers found a large stash of weapons, including two AR-15 assault rifles, .38 specials, 9mm handguns, nine magazines, 633 cartridges and $53,300 in U.S. currency, Solorio said.
Zuniga told police that she was planning on traveling to Bolivia and Colombia with the men to go shopping, Solorio said.
When the former preschool teacher won Miss Sinaloa in July she gave an impassioned speech about how society should value women more, especially mothers. In October, she won the Hispanoamerican Queen beauty contest in October against competitors from across Latin America.
She placed third in the Nuestra Belleza Mexico pageant in Monterrey in September. That pageant sends its winner to the Miss Universe contest. For placing third, she was expected to represent Mexico in the 2009 Miss International contest.
Zuniga is from the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa, the home of the powerful cartel of the same name. It was not immediately known whether Zuniga and the men were being investigated for drug ties.
Lupita Jones, the national director of Nuestra Belleza Mexico, released a statement distancing the organization from Zuniga. Jones also said Nuestra Belleza knew nothing about "any illicit activity in which she could be involved."
The organization also says it will await the results of the investigation before making any decision about whether to strip Zuniga of her crown.
"Since 1994, Nuestra Belleza has been a serious, honest and transparent organization dedicated exclusively to preparing Mexican women to successfully represent our country en various contests and whose object is to show the beauty, value and intelligence of each one of them," Jones said.
Tatiana Limpias of Gloria promotions, which organizes the Hispanoamerican contest in Bolivia, told The Associated Press that their lawyers were also looking into the matter before making a decision about her crown.
I don't know about you gals, but I always take a trunk full of high powered weaponry when I go shopping. That's just about the dumbest excuse I've ever heard.
But seriously, I have been reading articles all year about the drug-related slaughtering in Mexico and it's absolutely terrifying.
I know that there is corruption on both sides, even the police, but there are families who are grieving these men that they have lost. So many kids will no longer have a father.
12-24-2008, 01:51 AM #2
From things I've been reading lately, I feel like I am way too close to Mexico being here in Texas. It will be interesting to see if she even loses her crown. What a joke. She probably has a drug cartel sugar daddy or family who bought her the title in the first place.
12-29-2008, 09:55 AM #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
Laura Zuniga, Mexican Beauty Queen, Jailed and Stripped of Title
MEXICO CITY — A Mexican beauty queen detained on suspicion of drug and weapons violations has been stripped of her crown in the Hispanoamerican Queen pageant, contest organizers said Saturday.
Laura Zuniga, 23, was stripped of first-place honors for "failure to comply with the regulations of the title she represents," Bolivia-based pageant organizing company Gloria Promociones said in a statement. She beat more than 19 contestants from Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States to win the title in October.
Runner-up Vivian Noronha of Brazil will receive the crown.
The company statement did not specify what pageant rules were broken by Zuniga, who was detained in western Mexico on Dec. 22 along with seven men, some of them suspected drug traffickers. Authorities found a large stash of weapons, ammunition and $53,300 with them inside a vehicle.
Zuniga told police the group planned to travel to Bolivia and Colombia to go shopping.
Zuniga still holds the Miss Sinaloa title from a Mexican state beauty contest in July. And she placed third in the Miss Mexico contest, whose winner competes for the Miss Universe title. As third-runner up, she was expected to represent Mexico in the 2009 Miss International contest.
Miss Mexico pageant organizers say they are awaiting the results of the investigation before deciding what to do.
But doubts are already beginning to arise about Zuniga's string of pageant victories, after a Sinaloa state official told local media that she may not have gone through the proper auditions for the Miss Sinaloa contest.
"Everything indicates she won her crown through the intervention of her boyfriend, a drug lord," wrote columnist Carlos Puig in the Mexican newspaper Milenio.
While there is no hard evidence that the slender, striking Zuniga improperly won any of her titles, Mexican drug traffickers are know to take innocuous contests seriously.
In November, 17 people _ most suspected traffickers _ were killed in an argument over bets on a horse race in an area near the Mexico-Guatemala border.
"Runner-up Vivian Noronha of Brazil will receive the crown."
It might be a very safe career move for Miss Noronha to refuse that crown....
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