US embassy cable - 08GUADALAJARA617

BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS: MISS SINALOA DETAINED WITH DRUG THUGS

Identifier: 08GUADALAJARA617
Wikileaks: View 08GUADALAJARA617 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Guadalajara
Created: 2008-12-24 20:56:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: SNAR KCRM ASEC MX
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO4963
RR RUEHCD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHGD #0617 3592056
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 242056Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL GUADALAJARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1165
INFO RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 2348
RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEHGD/AMCONSUL GUADALAJARA 5221
UNCLAS GUADALAJARA 000617 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR, KCRM, ASEC, MX 
SUBJECT: BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS:  MISS SINALOA DETAINED WITH DRUG 
THUGS 
 
REF: Guadalajara 506 
 
1. (U)  A December 23 joint military and police operation 
against suspected narcotraffickers in the Guadalajara suburb of 
Zapopan turned up an unexpected surprise: among the eight 
individuals detained with a quantity of guns, ammunition, and 
money was Laura Zuniga Huizar, currently Miss Sinaloa 2008 as 
well as Miss Hispanic America 2008.  Also in the group was Angel 
Orlando Garcia, brother of Ricardo Garcia - an important leader 
of the Juarez drug cartel.  Some of the other detained 
individuals are presumed to be members of the Zetas - the 
notorious enforcement arm of the Gulf Cartel. 
 
2.  (SBU)  While the beauty queen's arrest dominated the press 
and the airwaves, and appears to substantiate the stereotype 
that many traffickers cannot resist flaunting their guns, girls, 
and gold, the real significance of this event is the growing 
evidence of infiltration by rival drug cartels into the 
Guadalajara area.  As noted in reftel, the city has been 
dominated by the Sinaloa cartel ("Federation") which has helped 
maintain a relative calm compared to other areas where open 
conflict rages.  Ricardo Garcia is an ally of Arturo Beltran 
Leyva (ABL) - a bitter foe of Federation leader "El Chapo" 
Guzman and the presumed architect of several recent attacks on 
police forces in Guadalajara and surrounding communities. 
Combined with the arrest last month of 18 alleged Zetas in the 
suburb of Tonala, the presence of an important Juarez cartel 
figure here may presage an attempt by ABL and his allies to 
muscle in on the Federation's turf, which would certainly cause 
an upsurge in violence. 
 
3.  (SBU)  Post is in close contact with the local authorities 
regarding the investigation of this incident, and will report 
developments.  One positive factor of note is the success of the 
joint military-police operation, carried out from a "Mixed 
Operations Base" (Base de Operacion Mixta - BOM).  Coordination 
of the various security forces in the metropolitan area has 
always been a challenge, but the BOM concept appears to be 
working well. 
 
RAMOTOWSKI 

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