Mexican Beauty Queen Dies in Narco Shoot Out

PHOTO: Susana Flores, the winner of this years Mujer Sinaloa beauty pageant, died in a shootout in Sinaloa State on Saturday.

Nuestra Belleza Sinaloa / Facebook

A beauty queen from the State of Sinaloa was killed this weekend in a shooting between Mexican soldiers, and alleged members of the Sinaloa cartel.

Susana Flores, a 22-year-old model and winner of the 2012 Mujer Sinaloa beauty pageant, was hanging out with a group of gunmen who allegedly fired on a Mexican military patrol in Sinaloa state early on Saturday.

According to Mexico's Proceso magazine, two members of the military and three civilians died in the shooting, which broke out near the small town of Palmar de los Leal.

Police are saying that Flores was on the scene, because she was spending some time with her boyfriend, who also died in the shooting, and is accused of being one of the gunmen who fired on the military patrol.

If this hypothesis proves out to be true, Flores would not be the first beauty queen in Sinaloa involved in a narco-scandal.

Back in 2008, Laura Zuñiga, a winner of the Nuestra Belleza Sinaloa beauty contest was arrested on drug trafficking charges, along with a boyfriend who worked for the Juarez Cartel.

Charges were dropped against Zuñiga after officials found that she had no involvement in her boyfriend¹s activities and didn't even know about his real job as a drug trafficker, as Zuñiga herself stated in this interview on Univision's Aqui y Ahora.

Zuñiga now works as a model, and her story inspired the critically-acclaimed 2011 film Miss Bala.

Watch our interview with Miss Bala producer Diego Luna, director Gerardo Naranjo and star Stephanie Sigman

Flores was not as fortunate. Her funeral will be held under tight security later this week, according to Proceso.

The Nuestra Belleza Sinaloa beauty contest -- in which Flores also participated in -- lamented her death on its Facebook page.

"We are shocked by her loss," the organization wrote. "She was a beautiful, happy young woman, with a great future ahead of her."

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For more than 40 years, the U.S. government has waged a war on drugs. Unfortunately, there are many issues with that war and its perceived success.

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