Beauty Queen Killed in Cartel Shootout Evokes Mexican Oscar Contender

Mexican beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gomez, 2012 Woman of Sinaloa, was killed over the weekend in a shootout between drug traffickers and soldiers. An official said the gunmen used her as a human shield. She was only 20 years old.

The shootout occurred in Guamuchil in western Sinaloa, home to Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel. She exited the car first with the gunmen hiding behind her. After the confrontation she was found with an assault rifle next to her. It has not been confirmed if she fired her weapon.

"They used the woman as a human shield," the official said.

This is not the first time a beauty queen was involved with the drug cartels. In fact, Mexico’s submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 2012 Academy Awards has a similarly tragic story. “Miss Bala,” or “Miss Bullet,” is about a young contestant trying to become a beauty queen in an area surrounded by drug cartels.

Miss Sinaloa Laura Zuniga was stripped of her crown in 2008 when she was detained on suspicion of drug and weapons violations.

Six vehicles, drugs, and weapons were seized after the face-off.  


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