Dangerous Dames: Seven women who killed their way to the top of various drug cartels
The death of La Catrina, a female Mexican cartel boss, has put the spotlight on the presence of women in drug organizations, and the bloody trail they left behind on their way to the top
Friday, January 10 saw the death of a female Mexican cartel boss, María Guadalupe López Esquivel, 21, also known as 'La Catrina'. She was a member of a cartel responsible for the killing of 13 police officers. Women in the crime world are often abused and discarded but a handful of women have climbed the ranks to establish themselves as merciless killing machines. Here's looking at seven women who were vicious, dangerous, and led various crime organizations.
7. Claudia Ochoa Felix
Felix was a Mexican model and social media personality known for her resemblance to reality TV star Kim Kardashian. However, in 2014 a rumor began to circulate that she was a very high ranking leader of Los Antrax, a murder squad who were allies of the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico. After the group's leader died, she was rumored to have been one of the leaders. She denied all the allegations made against her. She often flaunted her wealth and weapons on social media until she was found dead last year at her residence in Culiacan due to an apparent pulmonary aspiration caused by a drug overdose. People have speculated that she was assassinated due to her connections to Los Antrax and the Sinaloa cartel.
6. Sandra Ávila Beltrán
Beltran was dubbed the "Queen of the Pacific" by the media and was the head of the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico. She was born into a family of cartel members and drug lords. She never left a trace of her criminal activities until in 2001 authorities seized a tuna boat with 9 tons of cocaine which was traced back to her. Police suspicions grew when her teenage son was kidnapped and she cleared the ransom demand of $5 million. She was convicted of money laundering in 2007 and spent 7 years in prison.
5. Rosetta Cutolo
Cutolo also known as "Ice Eyes" was the boss of the de facto Camorra mob while her brother Raffaele Cutolo was the head of the Nuova Camorra Organizzata (NCO). Even though her brother sent the instructions, Cutolo ran the day-to-day operations of the organization. She was good with numbers and also struck up deals with South American cocaine drug lords by herself. In the 1980s she had ordered a hit on police headquarters but it did not work out as planned. She soon became a wanted woman and was on the run. After several years of looking for her, the authorities found her hideout in 1993 and Cutolo turned herself in. She served 5 years in prison.
4. Jemeker Thompson
Thompson was dubbed the 'Queen Pin' and had worked her way to the top of the Los Angeles cocaine trade. When she was young, she had been thrown out of her house by her father and had to look for ways to support herself. She met an older man Anthony M. "Daff" Mosley who ran a cocaine-trafficking business. The two got married and had a son together. After Mosley was killed in a drive-by shooting, a devastated Thompson expanded the cocaine business across the USA and also invested in a hair business that sold their products to celebrities.
Eventually, she dated another man whose nickname was "Cheese," but the two broke up and he ratted her out to the authorities. She then served time in a maximum-security prison until 2005. She is currently an evangelical minister at Second Chance Ministries in LA.
3. Jasiane Silva Teixeira
Authorities believe that Teixeira is one of the biggest drug traffickers in Bahia and has been accused of ordering the deaths of more than 100 people. Also known Dona Maria, she was one of the most wanted people in the Brazilian state of Bahia. She was captured in the town of Birtiba Mirim in Sao Paulo in 2019.
2. Charmaine Roman
The authorities had initially believed that Charmaine Roman was a part of a violent Jamaican marijuana trafficking ring. However, upon her arrest in 2013, the Central Florida police found that she was actually the kingpin. According to prosecutors, she laundered millions of dollars at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas and also had an inactive concert promotion company called Sure Thing Investments. After her arrest, authorities recovered 3,200 pounds of marijuana,15 guns, several cars and $200,000 in cash from her operations. She also had many passports in different names, birth certificates, and social security cards.
1. Griselda Blanco
Blanco was a Colombian drug lord who headed the Medellin Cartel. She was known as ‘La Madrina’ or ‘Black Widow’. Over the course of her criminal career, she is said to have been responsible for about 200 murders. Her US distribution network raked in $80,000,000 every month. Blanco, known for her violence, was arrested by the DEA and imprisoned but continued to run her business from inside the prison. She was released around 20 years later and died in a drive-by shooting in 2012.