Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009

Beauties Gone Bad

Just two months after being crowned Miss Hispanic America, 23-year-old Laura Zuniga was detained — along with her boyfriend and six others — for racketeering, drug trafficking, weapons violations and money laundering after police caught the group carrying several 9-mm pistols, a couple of semiautomatic rifles and $53,000 in cash. A tabloid dubbed her Miss Narco for her apparent connection to the violent and vengeful underworld of Mexico's drug trade, though Zuniga insisted to police that she and her entourage were simply on their way to Bolivia and Colombia to do some "shopping." Authorities are now investigating just how she came to be Miss Hispanic America in the first place. "Everything indicates she won her crown through the intervention of her boyfriend, a drug lord," a prominent Mexican columnist wrote after Zuniga's arrest.

See pictures of Mexico's drug wars.