Thursday, March 21, 2013


For the drug cartels, no Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) is needed.


Borderland Beat
March 19, 2013

Women are finding themselves in the ranks of drug cartels and have been doing so for as long as they've had the opportunity. It happens wherever cartels have infiltrated. Mexico isn't alone in observing this fact. It happens in Guatemala and it been ongoing in Colombia, with the highly publicized recapture of the 17 yr old assassin, "La Perris", first apprehended at age 14.

UTB Government Department Chair Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera spoke to Action 4 News about the phenomenon.

Professor Correa-Cabrera reports that women being involved in gun battles is not a surprise, especially since cartels have been recruiting men and women even teenagers in large numbers in recent years.

"Karen" , the teenage sicaria was arrested at a property in Cuernavaca, a popular tourist city, capital of the central state of Morelos, coincidentally the home of infamous boy sicario "Ponchis"

When cornered, she shot the policemen. After her capture, the military realized that she was carrying a nine millimeter caliber weapon.

The confessed sicaria had been recruited by a criminal cell to kill and dismember people from rival groups. She said her home was a subway stop in Mexico City

Cartels have been recruiting women training them to kill just as they train any other member of the cartel. Some cartels concentrate on training younger girls.

María Guadalupe Jiménez López, "La Tosca, a 26 yr old sicaria was in charge of the Zeta plaza in the town of Guadalupe before she was apprehended last year. Three other women detained with her confessed to be her henchmen. 20 assassinations were attributed to "La Tosca".

Last weekend, two women were killed in a gun battle in Reynosa across the river from Hidalgo.

"There are many more women involved in organized crime, performing different activities other than killing," Professor Correa-Cabrera said. "When Felipe Calderon started the so-called war on drugs in 2006 and he involved the federal forces in the fight, the organized crime groups started to recruit more men and also more women."

Some cartels concentrate on training younger girls but
some young girls are not always involved as a “Sicarias”, instead they may distribute drugs, for the criminal organization, or just as often they may work as a halcón , a lookout"

“Sicarias”, or female assassins, are often fighting alongside their boyfriends, husbands or just joining the crime wave by themselves.

Maria Celeste was arrested in June 2011 after a fierce gun battle between Los Zetas and Jalisco state police in Guadalajara. After she was apprehended, she told reporters at a news conference, "I'm a sicaria serving Los Zetas." Maria, aged 16 at the time, said she had been trained in the use of assault rifles AK-47 and AR-15, and other firearms. Nine other members of the cartel were arrested and six were killed in the shooting.

This is not because the women are particularly interested in it, it's because of the general economic trend," Professor Correa-Cabrera said.

But in some cases, economic hardship doesn't apply or begin to answer the questions about their involvement even if they are not trained as killers or as anything, as with the two former Sinaloa beauty queens, Laura Zuniga who was arrested in 2008, after she was found riding with suspected gang members in a truck filled with weapons and the more resent Sinaloa beauty, Maria Susana Gaméz Flores who lost her life in a firefight with the military.

In 2011, ex-marine Mireya Moreno Carreon known as “La Flaca” served as the plaza boss for the Zetas in the city of San Nicolas de los Garza, near Monterrey before her arrest. Nancy Manriquez Quintanar, also known as "La Flaca", was also arrested in October 2011 in Ecatepec for her alleged involvement in at least a dozen murders. Her role was to go to the bars, find rival cartel members and identify for the gunmen, authorities said.

La Linea the armed wing of the Juarez cartel, which operates on the U.S. Mexico border, was known to recruit and train dozens of young and beautiful women as hitmen . This fact was revealed after the capture a gunman for the organization. "They are nice, good-looking, young and they can deceive and mislead their opponents a little longer," said the suspected member of the of La Línea, Rogelio Amaya, on camera of the Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) federal, in a video circulating after his capture in 2010. This criminal gang, characterized by its cruelty against his rivals, had between 20 and 30 women, mostly "pretty" between 18 to 30 years old hired and trained to kill. The women operate in the same way as men and carry both light and heavy weapons, trained to kill, said Amaya.

Cabrera says most of these woman are voluntarily becoming killers and there is no sign the trend is slowing."We have more women who are willing to participate because of globalization, because of modernization, they are leaving their homes and have found another options to bring the bread to the table," Professor Correa-Cabrera said.

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