Mexican Beauty Queen Killed in Shootout

20-year-old may have fired back at army
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2012 1:08 AM CST
Updated Nov 27, 2012 6:03 AM CST

(Newser) – A Mexican beauty queen was shot dead in a gun battle between the military and the drug traffickers she was traveling with, a crime that echoed a recent hit Mexican movie. The body of Maria Susana Flores Gamez, the 20-year-old winner of a statewide beauty contest in Sinaloa, was found near an assault rifle on a rural road in the state after an hours-long chase and shootout, the AP reports. Police are trying to determine whether she actually took part in the shootout.

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Gamez is at least the third beauty contest winner linked to drug cartels in recent years, a relationship explored in the 2011 movie Miss Bullet. "There is a relationship, sometimes pleasant and sometimes tragic, between organized crime and the beauty queens, the pageants, the beauty industry itself," the author of a book about cartel ties to beauty pageants says. "It is a question of privilege, power, money, but also a question of need," he says. "For a lot of these young women, it is easy to get involved with organized crime, in a country that doesn't offer many opportunities for young people." (Read more Mexico stories.)

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