Drug Arrest Knocks Crown Off Beauty Queen

Some fear pageant's drug ties run deep
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 28, 2008 12:00 PM CST
The 2008 beauty queen of the drug-plagued state of Sinaloa, Laura Zuniga, left, and one of the alleged leaders of the powerful Juarez drug cartel, Angel Orlando Garcia, stand during their arraignment.   (AP Photo/Mexico's Attorney General's Office)
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(Newser) – A Mexican beauty pageant winner lost her title yesterday after being arrested with a top drug trafficker, the New York Daily News reports. Authorities said Miss Sinaloa, Laura Zúñiga Huizar, was collared along with leaders of the Juarez drug cartel, an arsenal of weapons, and $55,000 in cash. Authorities are seeking to probe more links between cartels and beauty contest winners, the Guardian reports.

“It is very sad. What we are seeing is a loss of values among young people,” said a government official. Cartels commonly adopt beauty queens to adorn their entourage, authorities say, and may fast-track them to win pageants. The pageant's ruling body said it was unaware of "any illicit activity" Huizar was involved in.