Entertainment

This Is The Real-Life Narco Queen Who Inspired “La Reina Del Sur”

Amidst the stories of El Chapo, La Barbie and other notorious drug cartel leaders, seldom do we hear of the women who also held the reins of North America’s illicit drug industry.

But they exist, and Sandra Ávila Beltrán, a.k.a. The Queen of the Pacific, is one of these jefas.

La Reina Del Pacifico♡ #SandraAvilaBeltran

A photo posted by Familia Sanchez (@el.pelavacas_) on

To fans of the Telemundo telenovela “La Reina del Sur,” Ávila’s story will sound oh so familiar.

CREDIT: Telemundo

That’s because the show’s main character, Teresa Mendoza is based on Beltrán. Mendoza is a simple young woman from Sinaloa whose world gets turned upside down when she meets El Güero, a drug trafficker who gets her involved in the industry. It’s Telemundo’s most popular novela, followed by “El Señor de los Cielos” and “Pablo Escobar.”

Kate del Castillo’s rendition of Ávila was so popular that USA Network released its own English-language version, “Queen of the South,” which debuted this June.

Credit: USA Network
Credit: USA Network

It features Brazilian actress Alice Braga in the role of Teresa Mendoza.

BTW, there are also some intense similarities between Ávila and Weeds’s cannabis-dealing mom, Nancy Botwin.


Like Botwin, Mendoza is cunning, sly and clever. They both use their sexuality to advance their career, and eventually both wind up in prison.

Ávila has lived a charmed yet highly dangerous life.


Growing up in a wealthy family with ties to the Guadalajara cartel, Ávila witnessed her first murder when she was 13. However, the road to her career as La Reina first began when she was kidnapped by a jealous boyfriend, who was associated with a drug cartel. Instead of pursuing a career as an investigative reporter, Ávila eventually entered the drug trade. By the age of 21, she was already holding meetings with Amado Carrillo Fuentes (a.k.a. El Señor de los Cielos). Soon, she was orchestrating the cocaine trade between Mexico and the U.S.

Ávila, who says she never did cocaine herself, was known to carry around suitcases filled with millions of dollars.

My #wcw goes to la reyna del pacifico #SandraAvilaBeltran#beautiful#pushingweight#like#a#g

A photo posted by Arnaldo Trejo (@young_kobe_skills) on


Ávila says she never consumed cocaine because drug traffickers looked at women who did cocaine as “weak.” As one of the rare women in the drug trade, Ávila says she fought hard to earn respect. Although she wanted respect, she also wanted money. She spoiled her teenage son with an allowance of $40,000 every few months. She wore a necklace with the emblem of Tutankhamun, adorned with 83 rubies, 228 diamonds and 189 sapphires.

However, her sensational life took a turn for the worse when Los Tucanes de Tijuana released their hit “Fiesta en la Sierra.”


The popular narcocorrido outed Ávila. In 2007, she was quickly arrested in a restaurant in Mexico City and thrown in prison. All 225 of her Jalisco-based properties were seized by authorities.

Being in prison didn’t stop La Reina from living her life, though.


While incarcerated, Ávila figured out a way to get a doctor to give her Botox injections. 

In 2012, La Reina was extradited to the U.S. and tried for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine across the border. But now, she’s free.

#SandraAvilaBeltran #LaReynaDelPacifico <3

A photo posted by ?Aydoo❤️ (@haidefragoso3) on


She pleaded guilty in the U.S., but the case was dropped, and Ávila returned to prison in Mexico. There, she successfully fought a second five-year sentence, and in 2015, was released.

In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, she announced that she feels no remorse over the 100,000 deaths during Mexico’s drug wars.


READ: Pablo Escobar’s Brother Sent Netflix A “Friendly” Letter Re: “Narcos”

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ICE Is Taking Advantage Of Migrants Who Can’t Read Or Write In Their Court Proceedings

Things That Matter

ICE Is Taking Advantage Of Migrants Who Can’t Read Or Write In Their Court Proceedings

Sandy Huffaker / Sandy Huffaker

Last summer, images of undocumented immigrant children went viral. These images didn’t show them crying, or being taken away from their parents. These children were pictured alone in court. The nameless children had no one by their side, no one to represent them, and had no clue what was going on, despite the fact that they were there trying to seek asylum. In some cases, these children wore headphones as a means to translate what the judge was saying. However, given that they were just children, the translation was almost useless. Reports are now servicing that immigration officials are using the language barrier as a means to keep them out of the U.S. 

An op-ed, written by a volunteer at the border, states that asylum-seeking immigrants cannot read or write in English or in their native tongue and immigration officials are taking advantage of that.

Emily Reed, a recent grad student from Barnard University, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post that stated she witnessed this manipulation from immigration officials against illiterate undocumented people. Reed was at the border in Texas volunteering with classmates at the South Texas Family Residential Center volunteering with the Dilley Pro Bono Project when she witnessed this manipulation. 

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection often conveniently exploit asylum seekers who cannot read. Along with an unfamiliarity with our deliberately complex immigration system, the illiteracy of Central American migrants, especially women, facilitates the deportation of parents and separation of families,” Reed wrote. She added, “By manipulating illiterate refugees who often unwittingly sign away their rights, the U.S. government is violating the basic tenets of the internationally recognized and protected right to seek asylum.” 

Reed added that her volunteer program with the legal center provided Spanish documents to the migrant families, but they couldn’t under that either.

“Simple translation is not enough,” she wrote. “The Dilley Pro Bono Project provides documents in Spanish, but even this paperwork was difficult for many migrant women to understand. Many women I helped to fill out paperwork struggled simply to write their children’s birth dates.”

The migrant families are being rushed within the court and legal process, which in turn, is causing deportation to happen a lot faster.

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reported that the haste paperwork at the border made it possible for immigration officials to rush and deport undocumented immigrants. The ACLU stated this process should not be rushed because people need to take their time and understand what is going on and what it is that they’re signing. 

“This waiting period is crucial to ensure that parents have an opportunity to make an informed decision about whether to fight their own removal cases, leave their children (who may have their own asylum claims) behind in the United States, or make some other decision,” the ACLU stated lasted year. “In short, families will be making life-altering decisions after months of traumatic separation — and the fact that the government is trying to shortchange them a matter of days to do so is galling.”

A New York Times report showed that 58,000 asylum seekers are currently stuck in Mexico under Trump’s policy because they’re awaiting asylum hearings.

The backlog for these asylum hearings is up to six to eight months, and when they’re ready for their hearing the majority of them won’t understand what needs to be done. This is why they need proper representation, and a patient legal system so they comprehend what is being asked of them and what the next steps are. 

What makes this matter even worse is that there’s not enough legal representation for each family unit, or individual, at the border. 

Last year, it was very apparent that there were not enough lawyers or legal help for undocumented immigrants at the border, and this year there’s even more undocumented people awaiting help and attempting to seek asylum. There people like Reed who want to help asylum seekers, but it’s not as easy as they might think. 

“People see the crisis happening, and they want to do something right now, which is great. But when we explain that this is a long-term fight, and we need your long-term commitment. That’s when people sort of back off.” Zenén Jaimes Pérez, the communications director at the Texas Civil Rights Project, told Huffington Post last year. 

If, however, you are willing to put in the time, or you’re interested in learning more about how you can provide legal help, or assist legal teams at the border, please reach out to: the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (“ProBAR”); the Immigration Justice Project (“IJP”); the ACLU of Texas; and RAICES.

READ: Selena Gomez Announces New Netflix Series ‘Living Undocumented’

Chipotle Is Rolling Out So-Called Carne Asada Nationwide But Twitter Is Skeptical

Culture

Chipotle Is Rolling Out So-Called Carne Asada Nationwide But Twitter Is Skeptical

Chipotle / Instagram

Word on the street is that Chipotle has added a new source of protein to its menu for the first time in a year. According to CNN Business, Chipotle is rolling out carne asada for a limited time at its more than 2,000 stores in the United States. 

The real question here is, however, is it better than the carne asada at your tio’s BBQ on Sunday’s? Guess we’ll have to read the reviews and try it out for ourselves.

According to CNN Business, the carne asada option was tested in three American cities over the past year and the company states that it was received “incredibly well.” Chipotle also said that it approved the new addition to steak for three popular diets that you might have heard of recently — ketogenic, Paleo, and Whole 30. 

Here we thought Chipotle was simply trying to cater more to their Latinx consumers, but alright, we see you. 

Since news broke that Chipotle would now be serving carne asada, Twitter had some thoughts. Some positive, some negative, and others downright hilarious.

If you’re a member of Chipotle’s app-based rewards program then you were most likely one of the first to receive notification about the new menu item, and if you’re not — don’t worry, because carne asada is already available for you to order.

However, before we dive in @VidaByJen on Twitter is asking the REAL question on our minds.

Can guac just be free now? Please. Thanks.

Twitter users were also quick to publicize their own personal reviews of what the carne asada was like.

One Twitter user said that “upon first bite the difference in flavor from the regular steak is noticeable.” But in the larger scheme of things, it doesn’t have a noticeably significant effect on taste. The reviewer then went on to say that the carne asada “comes in bigger pieces than the regular steak” making it “difficult to bite into and chew.” Well, the Latino community is used to that, but fair point. 

The bottom line? The carne asada “is tasty but not a huge game changer especially if you typically order steak.” The price point is also a bit higher, so she said she would “not recommend it to a friend.” Welp, there you have it. 

Another Twitter user pointed out the obvious, the carne asada is just steak cut into long strips but go off Chipotle.

Don’t @ us!

One Twitter user said that Chipotle was playing y’all, “you know they already had steak. They’re just adding a lil lime and calling it carne asada.” 

Hmmm, where’s the lie? 

However, these facts still didn’t dissuade anyone from being excited. 

We’ll let them have this one. But y’all should get invited to a BBQ instead of spending your coins at Chipotle, tbh.

Chipotle also spoke up when asked exactly what the difference is between carne asada and steak.

A twitter user asked “what’s the difference between this and regular steak?” To which Chipotle replied, “The original steak is marinated in adobo sauce so this lime and cilantro Carne Asada recipe adds a whole new flavor profile to the protein.” See, the previous Twitter user was onto something. 

Even with Chipotle’s transparency, people are still not believing it.

We’ve been led astray! Carne asada IS steak. 

Someone who may or may not be a Chipotle employee also tweeted that “the amount of times we’re all gonna have to explain the difference” is going to be tired.

We feel ya, but good luck girl! 

Kat Thompson of Thrillist also reviewed Chipotle’s new carne asada addition. Here’s what she had to say: 

Did the carne asada turn out to be better than the steak? “This is something I’ve been going back and forth on. Would this new version of steak replace my beloved cubes? And the conclusion I’ve come to… is no,” Thompson wrote. Although the carne asada was delicious, she still found herself craving and thinking about the steak cubes. 

Despite the steak cubes fairing better in her experience, she still thought the carne asada addition was a great idea. “The acidity of the lime is welcomed, and perhaps the protein would function better in a taco — where it wouldn’t be lost amongst the pool of rice, beans, and salsas,” Thompson wrote. 

Will you be trying Chipotle’s new carne asada? Let us know in the comments below!