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Mexican Cartel Queen Sandra Ávila Beltran gives first interview in more than a decade

May 17, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Mexican Cartel Queen Sandra Ávila Beltran gives first interview in more than a decade

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Since the late 1970’s Sandra Ávila Beltran, known as “La Reina del Pacífico” or Queen of the Pacific, operated among the top figures in the Mexican drug world.

Avila-Beltran is what amounts to narco royalty. As the daughter of María Luisa Beltrán Félix and Alfonso Ávila Quintero, she a family member of Rafael Caro Quintero and the niece Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, both legendary godfathers who ruled the Mexican drug trade as the founders of the Guadalajara Cartel throughout the late 70’s and 80’s.

She went on to become one of the best-known female drug traffickers in Mexico, who managed to gain a foothold in a male business dominated by capos and machismo.

The 56-year-old Avila was released last February after serving seven years in prison for organized crime and money laundering, including two years in solitary confinement.

Law enforcement officials in the U.S. and Mexico have attributed the rise of Avila in the male-dominated world of drug trafficking to her business intelligence and the anonymity she preferred in operating.

Her status led her to become known as “The Queen of the Pacific”, because of her alleged prowess organizing a fleet of tuna boats each containing 10 tons of cocaine, which was transported from Mexico’s Pacific Coast to the United States, the world’s leading consumer of the white powder drug.

She recently spoke to the Guardian newspaper in the U.K. in her first interview in almost a decade during a three-hour meeting from her home in Guadalajara.

During the interview, she touched on a range of issues, which included corrupt Mexican politicians, the drug prohibition, and Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s second prison escape.

Avila railed against the government’s “brutal tactics of murder,” which she maintains barred as much responsibility for the spiraling death toll resulting from the narcotics trade as does competing cartels.

“Sometimes it does not suit the government to imprison witnesses who could potentially testify against some of its officials, sometimes they kill people because it is not convenient,” Avila said.

Avila gave her thoughts on Joaquin El Chapo Guzman’s second escape from prison in July of last year.

“When he escaped, I was not surprised, in Mexico money can buy anything, but I was happy.”

She also commented on what kind of help he received to escape the Altiplano maximum security prison

“El Chapo managed to escape a second time because it had to happen with help at the highest levels of government. The federal prison system is difficult. If someone had to be paid off in this system, it had to be from the top, not the director of a prison. Neither the guards. It has to be at the cabinet level,”

Avila-Beltran was also asked about what it would take to end drug trafficking and the structure that holds it together.

“It doesn’t matter, there will always be the invention of new drugs. The important thing is to continue with the business. The problem is not with those who cannot leave the cartels, but with those who prefer not to. There are people with a lot of money, but do not want to leave because this is what they like to do. It’s like a Formula 1 driver that says: ‘I like the speed, I like to run.” she stated.

When questioned how she would handle drug trafficking if she were the President of Mexico and what measures she would take to eradicate drug violence she replied:

“First, you have to attack poverty. Poverty is the cause of violence. You start by being a common criminal and then you become violent (…) criminal narco-trafficking is a business that has not been legalized. It’s a business like alcohol (during prohibition), it was not legal (…) In those days, a seller of alcohol is considered a bad person, but when it became legalized, the same people who sold it became respectable.”

Read the entire Guardian interview 

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