Clara Elena Laborin, 52, wife of of Hector Beltran Leyva, (alias "H") was detained on Monday in Hermosillo, northwestern Sonora state, along with another cartel operator, Alan Contreras, according to the federal police.
Borderland Beat reported in November of 2015 that Laborin, nicknamed "La Senora", assumed leadership of the Beltran Leyva cartel after the arrest of her husband, the alleged drug trafficker "H" in 2014.
Like many of the women who have gained power and prominence in the cartels, Clara Elena Laborin had been a contestant in a beauty contest where she was crowned Miss Sonora/
She has a home and members of her extended family live in Hermosillo. Her arrest on Monday was not the first time she had been deprived of her liberty in the city. In April of 2010 she was abducted in front of her home in the community of La Alameda, not far from the headquarters of the Sonora State Preventive Police. by operatives working for Nacho Coronel..
The kidnapping had been brought about by bad feelings between the BLO organization and Nacho Colonel after a dispute between the 2 over a joint enterprise they had been engaged went sour and Nacho wound up controlling the profitable enterprise. After the splt Arturo Beltran "El Barbas", head of the Beltran Leyva clan ordered the execution of Nacho Coronel.
In early April of 2010 suspected gunmen allied with the Beltrán Leyva killed Nacho's son , Alejandro Coronel, age 16. Assassins in the service of Colonel counterattacked. In Nayarit they killed 10 people and burned their bodies. Weeks later in Sonora they kidnapped Clara Elena Laborín Archuleta.
Three days later on April 26, 2010, she was found on the street with her hands and feet bound and gauze tape wrapped around her head down to her nose. She was not injured or hurt. A banner was left by her body as a warning to "H" which said;
"We are going to teach you how to be a man and to respect family, murderer of children. Here is your wife, which you refused to answer for. I hand her back to you healthy and safe so you can see and learn that for us family is sacred. We do not kill women or children, we are only going after `El Hache´ y `El Dos Mil,´ as well as several police officers working for Hector Beltran Leyva and Francisco Hernandez Garcia."
This time her detention by the Federal Police may not be as brief as it was when Nacho had her kidnapped.
As reported in Yahoo News, the Federal Police Laborin is "identified as the head of operations of a criminal cell with a presence in Sonora state." She and Contreras "are considered among the main generators of violence in Acapulco,"
In 2009, the US Treasury Department sanctioned Laborin and 21 other individuals for their ties to the Beltran Leyva organization, freezing any assets they may have in the United States.
Yahoo quoted Mike Vigil, a former chief of international operations at the US Drug Enforcement Administration,
"We're starting to see more and more women climbing through the ranks of many of these cartels,"
"There's one key factor that distinguishes them from other female traffickers: ...they're extraordinarily ruthless and highly intelligent," Vigil told AFP.
"They have to be extremely ruthless otherwise the men won't pay attention to them, and they have to be highly intelligence because they engage in the more sophisticated aspects that the cartel does such as money laundering and logistics, the corruption of public officials."
"The Web site ANG reported that 2 mg of cocaine and illegal firearms were confiscated at the scene of the arrest. It also reported that La Senora is not part of the 122 priority objectives of the Federal Government; however, she is included among the 50 priority objectives of the new Reconsideration of the Strategy Attention of Guerrero. Her capture is the 22nd of the 50 priority players on the list.
"She is considered one of the main generators of violence in Acapulco, from funding her organization and related cells disputing control of the port with the Independent Cartel of Acapulco (CIDA).