Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexico Blocks Extradition of the 'Queen of the Pacific'

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 |

A federal court in Mexico has ruled that Sandra Avila Beltran, also known as the “Queen of the Pacific,” cannot be extradited to the United States on drug trafficking charges, a decision which comes as a major victory to one of the most well known figures of Mexico’s criminal underworld.


Written by: Geoffrey Ramsey
In Sight


According to El Universal, the Mexico City-based first Appellate Court has ruled that Avila’s extradition, which had been authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is unlawful because it involves the same charges (drug trafficking) that she faces in Mexico. Under international law, it is customary for a person to be extradited to another country only if they face a different, and typically more serious, set of criminal charges.

Avila first gained attention from the media in September 2007 when she and her love interest, convicted Colombian drug trafficker Juan Diego Espinosa Ramírez, alias "El Tigre," were arrested by Mexican authorities for allegedly conspiring to smuggle nine tons of cocaine northward via a port in Colima in 2001.

Since then, Mexican and American media outlets have been fascinated by her, with Newsweek magazine calling her Mexico’s “Underworld Queenpin” and ABC news referring to her as Mexico’s “Glamorous Gangster.” As InSight Crime has noted, Avila raises interesting questions about gender roles in Mexico’s drug trade. Her flashy outfits and posh tastes are a rare sight in the world of drug trafficking, which is more often marked by images of scruffy, dangerous-looking men.

Even before earning the title “Queen of the Pacific” by becoming a key link between the Sinaloa Cartel and Colombia's Norte del Valle Cartel, Avila‘s life seemed destined to revolve around criminal activities. She was born into a family closely associated with drug trafficking, and her uncle was Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, alias “the Godfather,” who was one of Mexico’s first major drug traffickers.

Over the years, she ascended the country’s criminal hierarchy by using romantic relationships to her advantage. Both of her ex-husbands were notoriously corrupt police chiefs, and both were murdered in drug-related killings. Prior to her current relationship with Espinosa Ramirez, Avila was romantically linked with Ismael Zambada García, alias "El Mayo," a major figure in the Sinaloa Cartel.

To this day she enjoys significant influence because of her criminal ties, a fact which was most recently evidenced in January, when a prison doctor gave her a facial Botox injection while in prison, a luxury procedure which is not authorized for Mexican inmates. The treatment sparked something of a scandal in Mexico’s justice system, resulting in the dismissal of the prison's director and hospital chief.

Still, Avila’s current level of involvement in criminal activities is not clear. For her part, she claims that her only source of income comes from “selling clothes and renting houses," a claim which, considering her background, is highly suspect to say the least. In December, a Mexican judge absolved her of the 2001 drug trafficking charges, saying that the prosecution failed to “establish the circumstances of time, manner, place and occasion” in which the crimes were committed. Despite the acquittal, federal attorneys have vowed to appeal the ruling. Additionally, in March Avila was charged with laundering money, and a court has ordered that she remain in detention while awaiting a trial.

The most recent decision effectively blocks Avila from being extradited, unless U.S. prosecutors are able to submit new, extraditable charges in their case against her. This surely irks U.S. drug officials, who are already frustrated by delays in the prosecution of Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias “La Barbie,” which have postponed the timeline for his extradition.



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25 Borderland Beat Comments:

DFL said...

She is one butt ugly woman. Looks like a crack whore. But shes just a regular common criminal who sells crack to whores. Shes just another filty traitor to her country who should be locked up forever. A fucking loser dope dealer!!
Keep her locked up so that she won't breed like the street dog that she is producing more little monsters!

Anonymous said...

Why does the US think they need to extradite people from other countries that have charges in those countries. I guess they think you and I need to pay for a 30 million dollar prosecution and a 20 year stay in our prisons. There is no telling what the cost of someone like her would be in our federal prison. Who really gives a shit if she grand stands there or here. Leave her there. For that matter, leave La Barbie there to. Who gives a shit. He terrorized Mexico. Leave him there and let him get what is coming to him.

DFL...She is probably very narcissistic, and a real sick bitch, but I have seen past photos and she has not always been butt ugly. She was a looker in her day. They say she would show to the big gangster parties with a gold plated AK 47.

LOL, she said El Chapo was too short and "all business" for her taste. She had some sort taste, huh? El Mayo was more her style. Rumor had it, she was with Amado Carrillo for a while too. El Tigre wasn't a bad choice either because he was definitely connected to the big money, Colombian cocaine, and wasn't a bad looking guy either.

Leave her there, she is no harm to anyone and we don't need to stick more money up a dead dogs ass.

Anonymous said...

"La Reina del Sur?"

minor600 said...

SHE'S NOT UGLY AT ALL... I HAVE SEEN HER IN PERSON... SHE HAS FLAWLESS SKIN IN PERSON

Anonymous said...

The Mexicans still haven't figured out how to seize drug-related assets. Why is that?

Seize her property and/or make her prove her money does not come from drug traffic. But, of course it takes a judge who has not been bought.

Anonymous said...

9:00 PM...I wouldn't turn her down but I damn sure would sleep with one eye opened. Both of her cop husbands were murdered. I have always wondered if she had a little something to do with that too. I wonder if there were some large insurance policies involved. Is there anyway to research that. But yes, she was fine in her day. Search and you will see. LOL, when she was arrested, she refused to go until they finished doing her hair at the high dollar salon they arrested her at. They waited too.

ajulio said...

They should have nicknamed her, "the whore of the pacific". She was probably an attractive woman at one time and i'm sure that in her prime she used her looks and her wits to get what she wanted. Being a woman back then gave her an advantage, also being born into a narco family gave her respect but she's got nothing on "the godmother", griselda blanco, the colombian gangster who took on the colombian cartels in colombia and the U.S.. Till this day she remains an untouchable, both from the U.S. gov. and her enemies.

You put the godmother and the queen of the pacific in a cage and i'll bet you 10 g's that the godmother will wipe the queen's botox-ridden face all over the canvas.

Anonymous said...

Why does the US give money to Mexico? Its a pathetic joke! Mexico is playing the US for a fool and the US is swallowing it ALL with out even chewing! This is just ANOTHER slap right in the face of intelligent thinking people all across the world! This clearly shows just how corrupt the scum Mexican government is. Dirty rotten and worthless to the core! If not for the very small handful of good people in Mexico I would support making it a parking lot!

Anonymous said...

They should hang her on Mexican national TV just like ALL of the narco scum treasonous no good dirty rotten pieces of human garbage, their entire family trees are not worth the rope it would take to hang them all so I would vote to keep reusing the same ropes!

Anonymous said...

10:36..."Why does the US give money to Mexico?" We promised 1.4 billion over a 5 year timeframe which we have given about 1/4 of and that is through weapons and specialized training. We aren't sending them money. Our national debt is 12 thousand times that. We need to quit thinking that we gave them all kinds of money because actually it is very very little. I don't even know why they bothered playing the game with us. It is really a joke. The parking lot needs to be Arizona. Mexico is far more beautiful than most of the US. And by the way, so are their women.

Anonymous said...

It would be great to see her hung on "canal de las estrellas" TV Azteca would have to up their game.

Anonymous said...

La reina del pacifico has always been on the sexy side shes not to far from 50 years old now so the years have got to her but she still a cougar DFL is just a dumb ass gay pig with a mouth full of filthy shit because thats all that comes out of it some one needs to kick shove a grenade in that rotten sewer mouth of DFL

Anonymous said...

@10:11 Calm down cocaine cowboy

Anonymous said...

I could keep her as hostage. <3

Anonymous said...

Don't hang her because she's beautiful. (LOL)...Ultimately, the one that needs to be hung in public is GEORGE W BUSH for selling out our middle class, leaving us with an unbearable debt and he and his Halliburton cronies ripping off the middle east and America. And 1 minute before they hang him, drop a 10 pound weight ties to fishing line to his bebe balls. The whole world would show and laugh at that event. Everyone but DFL. Opps, I didn't mean to say that. AW !

DFL said...

@9:11
I would agree that Bush was the worst president of all time however i would never speak the tresonous words you do about hanging an ex-president, you fucking asswipe traitor.
If you don't respect, good or bad, our institutions, including the office of the president of the United States, than more your sorry ass out of our country. Fuck face!!

Oh Yea. P.S. When you type these things , the secrect service tracks assholes like you and you will probably get a visit now!!LOLOL!!
They can tell who you are, they are allot smarter than you !

Anonymous said...

DFL - you are one stupid ´redneck ! Yep Bush sold out America and what´s funny , he made fools like you swallow the scum , and then think you´re being fed chocolate ! Also you´re illiterate. May I suggest home schooling ! Now for treachery , Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld should be tried in the Hague for crimes against humanity, and then spend the rest of their miserable lives in jail ! They were responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people based on lies. Where were the WMD ? And that would be real justice.

Anonymous said...

@DFL...Aw, if its your hero, hanging is such a bad comment, but if its just a Mexican woman, it needs to be done in public. Quite a double standard you have fellow.

If the CIA is gonna prosecute me for me for wishing things would occur, call them and send them on. The DEA trailed me all through the 80s and failed. If they have the time to track this blog, there is way too many CIA agents and we need to cut back there too.

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe this woman was so involved in such a brutal business and is probably responsible directly for many executions and tortures. She just looks so sweet and likeable in interview clips and the sort of person you feel anyone could get along with just fine but I guess psychopaths often are master of disguises.

Anonymous said...

@ 1:32 AM...Think about it, in her day, wouldn't you want to send her to Columbia to negotiate price. I doubt she had much to do with any brutality. She was a show piece. Her last husband was a big Columbian connection. And she has been locked up for more than 3 years, most of this war.

Anonymous said...

8:28 PM I don't think she was a showpiece I mean she did drug running herself and everything that went with it so she just as bad as the narco scum she was going out with at the time.

'L 'B said...

and the judge who made the decision can now afford to buy himself a nice big house in the USA...

Anonymous said...

everyone like her, men, women, and politicians are an embarrassment to MY country of Mexico...everyone like her who are famed because they traffic drugs, while leaving behind a trail of death are an embarrassment, not because of their aspect, but because of their actions....por eso estamos como estamos, tanta fama que se le da a la gente que hace lo incorrecto...

Anonymous said...

Mexicans are the most dumbest people in the world. No wonder the world is looking at the country as barbarians. How can a judge absolve her with drug trafficking charge? Disgusting!!!

Anonymous said...

the queen of the pacific should be extradited to the us to face "real justice; not like in mexico or colunbia or other countries where justice is for sale and as long as people in the us and europe have an "appetite;' for drugs people like her will be around and it also keeps the economy on the border thriving and as for drug money going south ,keep it coming' so we can confiscate it it ill help our budgets, muchas gracias.

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