Sandra Avila, a naive woman and girlfriend of a Mexican involved in drug trafficking, becomes the leader of a drug cartel.
Sinaloa, Mexico.— Sandra Ávila Beltrán—once alleged to be Mexico’s most famous female drug trafficker—enters the room like a movie star; turning heads, dressed in Chanel, and well over three hours late.
Now in her early sixties, she still exudes the magnetism and raw sex appeal that saw her rise through the ranks as an immaculately connected power player in the wild world of the major drug cartels.
She became a household name—known as the “Queen of the Pacific”—in Mexico after her coolness under police interview was captured on camera in 2007. In that viral video, she was totally unruffled by claims that she had been part of an operation to smuggle nine tons of cocaine, insisting that she was just a housewife with side-hustle selling clothes and renting out properties.
Ávila was charged along with her lover, the Colombian drug lord Juan Diego Espinosa, universally known as “El Tigre.” The authorities claimed she was one of the key cross-border links between the Sinaloa cartel and Norte del Valle Cartel in Colombia.
The lifestyle and criminal career of this narco legend became the basis for the show The Queen of the South, although Netflix has refused to pay her a cent despite Ávila filing a lawsuit to demand a share of the revenues.
Her connections to the Mexican cartels run deep. Ávila’s uncle, Felix Gallardo, controlled the illegal trade of narcotics from Mexico to the United States for many years; it was said that there was no cargo route or drug trafficker that was not under his command in the 1980s. He was also the architect of the alliance with drug cartels in Colombia, specifically with Pablo Escobar Gaviria and Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha.
Gallardo, who was eventually convicted of drug trafficking, racketeering, and the murder of a DEA agent, was known as “El Jefe de Jefes” (The Boss of Bosses), or “El Padrino” (The Godfather.) For years, he continued to run his drug smuggling operation from behind bars.
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Source: The Daily Beast
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