A Mexican beauty queen was killed on Saturday when she got caught in a weekend shootout in the restive northern state of Sinaloa, according to a report by authorities on Monday.
The beauty queen was Maria Susana Flores Gamez, 20. Gamez was the 2012 Woman of Sinaloa, reports CNN.
Flores Gamez was found dead on Saturday during a clash between criminals and military troops in the Moccorito municipality. Maria, along with two men, lost their lives to gunfire. Despite her status as a beauty queen, Flores Gamez is suspected of being involved in criminal activity.
Along with being crowned the 2012 Woman of Sinaloa, Maria Susana Flores Gamez also participated in the Our Sinaloa Beauty 2012 pageant. Organizers for the contest expressed the condolences to the young woman’s family, who received her body on Monday. The organizers stated:
“We are dismayed by the news — a beautiful young person, happy, and with a big future ahead of her. Rest in peace Susy.”
The Mexican beauty queen who was killed on Saturday was found lying near an assault rifle on a rural road in a mountainous area of Sinaloa (a drug-plagued state), according to The Clarion Ledger.
State Prosecutor Marco Antonia Higuera commented on the assault rifle found near the beauty queen’s body, saying, “She was with the gang of criminals, but we cannot say whether she participated in the shootout. That’s what we’re going to have to investigate.”
Higuera stated that Maria Susana Flores Gamez was traveling in one of the vehicles with the group of drug traffickers when they began the assault on a Mexican army patrol. The assault lasted a long time, until the army patrol was finally able to stop the gang’s vehicles and detain the four remaining members.
While the Mexican beauty queen’s death is certainly tragic, it is at least the third time that a beauty queen or pageant contestant has been linked to one of the country’s violent drug cartels.