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.
To fans of the Telemundo telenovela “La Reina del Sur,” Ávila’s story will sound oh so familiar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Speaking to Ellen, Lopez explained how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected her during this time.
“It did affect it a little bit,” Lopez told Ellen in an interview in which the TV host asked about her wedding plans. “So, we’ll see what happens now … I really don’t know what’s gonna happen now as far as dates or anything like that. We are just kind of in a holding pattern like the rest of the world. So, again, it’s just something we have to wait and see in a few months how this all pans out.”
Of course, leave it to DeGeneres to push for romance. The talk show host recommended that Lopez and Rodriguez try to do a “TikTok wedding” consider how popular their recent videos on the platform have been so far.
“It’s something to think about,” Lopez laughed. “I can’t make any commitments right now.”
The Latina queen and retired baseball superstar became engaged in March 2019.
For the two years that they’ve been dating, J-Lo and A-Rod have shared their lives with the public through their social media accounts, giving us a glimpse into the loving relationship that Lopez has called her “first ever good relationship”. Their Instagram profiles are sprinkled with pictures of them jet-setting, attending premieres and galas, and taking mixed-family vacations in exotic locales together. In other words, they’re very publicly living their best lives together.
However, a wrench was thrown into their happily-ever-after Sunday night when former MLB player Jose Canseco publicly accused A-Rod of cheating on Jennifer Lopez with his ex-wife, Jessica Canseco. In light of all this drama, we’ve compiled the definitive timeline of Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez’s relationship, all the way from friends to fíances. Take a look!
Before the Puerto-Rican triple threat and the Dominican All-Star were Hollywood’s reigning It Couple, they were mere acquaintances. The pair first met in 2005 at a Yankees vs. Mets Baseball game. At the time, Rodriguez was married to his first wife, Cynthia Scurtis, while Lopez was still married to Marc Anthony.
Lopez and Rodriguez reconnected twelve years later when they ran into each other at a restaurant. According to Lopez, they briefly said hello, but it was her who couldn’t resist continuing the conversations. “After [lunch] I went outside,” she said. “And for some reason I felt like tapping him on the shoulder”. He then asked her out to dinner via text.
By March 2017, neither J-Lo nor A-Rod were trying to hide the fact that they were dating. During the month, they were spotted vacationing together in The Bahamas. ARod’s sister also posted a selfie of herself with JLo, captioning it #miscuñis, which means things were moving along pretty nicely.
March 31st, 2017
When co-hosting “The View” at the end of March, Rodriguez had only great things to say about his new lady love: “She’s an amazing girl. We’re having a great time”. He also went on to say that J-Lo was “one of the smartest human beings I’ve ever met”. And he didn’t stop there! He showered on the compliments by calling her “an incredible mother” who “loves family”.
By April, it was J-Lo’s turn to gush about her boo-thing on the talk-show circuit. While being grilled about her new boyfriend by Ellen (naturally), Lopez called Rodriguez “a great guy,” this 100% confirming their relationship.
Never one to do things half-heartedly, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez made their public debut as a couple at arguably the most prestigious event in the world: the Met Gala, of course. This occasion also marked J-Lo’s debut on A-Rod’s Instagram–and the first of many.
By June 2017, it was obvious to the world that this couple was the real deal. Not only was Rodriguez gushing to the press that Jennifer was the ideal role model for his daughters, the pair was also taking glamorous European trips together and posting their adventures to their millions of followers on Instagram.
We all know that one of the most crucial steps of a relationship is when your signficant other accompanies you to a work event. Lopez and Rodriguez crossed this milestone when A-Rod accompanied her to the premiere of “World of Dance”–a show she stars in and produces. It’s for reasons like this that A-Rod calls her “one of the most brilliant business minds that [he’s] ever met”!
J-Lo and A-Rod took their relationship a step further when they spent Thanksgiving together in Rodriguez’s home. On Instagram, they shared with their followers that this was one of the many times they combined families for the holiday–further proof that they were very confident with where their relationship was.
Along with the power couple’s magazine cover debut on the December issue of “Vanity Fair”, the duo also debuted their new (and catchy) portmanteau: J-Rod (we’re pretty sure they had it trademarked before they went public).
Lopez and Rodriguez showed their Latinx pride by visiting Puerto Rico in January after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
In the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar, JLo got candid about her relationship with A-Rod and addressed the possibility of a wedding on the horizon. “I do believe in marriage,” she said. “And I would love to grow old with somebody in a committed relationship. But I’m not forcing anything right now. It’s good, it’s healthy; we communicate well…We have a similar makeup.” All signs point to yes!
May 7, 2018
JLo and A-Rod attended their second Met Gala as a couple in matching couture Balmain outfits, cementing their status as style icons.
Lopez and Rodriguez spent her 49th birthday in one of their go-to vacation spots: The Bahamas. A-Rod took to Instagram to share a cute pic of their blended family on vacation along with a heartfelt tribute to his lady love. ” For someone who has been about giving everything she has 365 days a year—to our children, our families, the world,” he said. “I hope today, we can give you all the happiness you deserve. I love you mucho”.
A-Rod’s reaction to JLo’s epic VMA’s performance last August became a viral sensation, as his pride over his girlfriend’s triple-threat skills were all too apparent. Twitter was full of women wanting a man who looks at them like ARod looks at JLo.
A-Rod continued to support his girlfriend by attending events that were obviously important to her. In October, Rodriguez accompanied Lopez to Elle’s famous “Women in Hollywood” event. That night, he posted a supportive message to JLo on his Instagram: “With two young daughters and a woman I admire by my side, I know how important it is that we raise women up and teach our girls that there is no limit to what they can do.”
According to their Instagram accounts, J-Rod spent New Years eve in Malibu, again with their blended family. Rodriguez’s caption read: “As the sun sets on 2018, from our family to yours … #HappyNewYear everyone!”.
Lopez took her athlete-beau to the ultimate glamour event: The Oscars. The two shined in evening wear and Rodriguez was solidly by her side while she strutted the red carpet and presented awards.
On March 9th, J-Rod announced that they were engaged with mutual Instagram posts sharing the news. The Instagram posts showed off the 15-carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring, which is reported to be worth up to a cool $5 million.
March 10th, 2019
On Sunday night, former Major League Baseball player Jose Canseco accused A-Rod of cheating on J.Lo with his ex-wife, Jennifer Canseco. Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to realize that Canseco has a history of making some pretty out-there statements (i.e. asking his Twitter followers to “spend the day with me and my alien Buddies”and insisting that he’s acquainted with “Bigfoot and a real alien”). In other words: there’s reason to doubt his word.
As of now, both JLo and ARod have remained silent in response to these explosive allegations, so there’s no way of knowing the veracity of the claims. Until then, all we can do is speculate and hope for the best!
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When the novel coronavirus COVID-19 started to spread in the U.S., hand sanitizer became a hot commodity. Stores sold out of the product needed to clean your hands while on the go to prevent catching and spreading the virus. But, did you know that a Latina nursing student in the 1960s created hand sanitizer?
Lupe Hernandez, a nursing student in California in 1966, is the woman behind hand sanitizer.
Hernandez was in nursing school in Bakersfield, California when she thought about a gel form of rubbing alcohol. Hernandez realized that a gel form of alcohol would make it possible for people to clean their hands while on the go with no access to water and soap.
Hernandez knew she was on to something so she reached out to an invention hotline and submitted a patent.
While washing your hands is the best way to avoid contracting COVID-19, hand sanitizer is an important tool for those that still have to work. It is also a good option for people who are still healthy but have to go to the pharmacy, grocery store, or bank.
Hand sanitizer was just an industry product until the H1N1 viral outbreak in 2009.
The 2009 outbreak of H1N1 drove up the demand for hand sanitizer among the public and it was soon packaged for consumers. According to The Guardian, the value of the hand sanitizer market has grown exponentially since the time before and after the H1N1 scare.
In 2018, the global hand sanitizer market value was $2.6 billion. The Guardian reports that the U.S. market value of hand sanitizer was $28 million in 2002 and $80 million in 2006.
Viral outbreaks like H1N1 make hand sanitizer a highly-prized commodity and some people try to profit off that fear.
Matt Colvin faced severe backlash after he and his brother bought out thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer in Tennessee and Kentucky after the first COVID-19 death in the U.S. The two covered 1,300 miles driving through Tennessee and Kentucky buying all of the hand sanitizers they could find in various dollar stores.
The brothers then started selling the hand sanitizer on Amazon for as much as $70 a bottle. Amazon shut them down and the attorney general of Tennessee launched an investigation into them for price gouging. They pledged to donate the product and Tennessee officials are making sure they follow through with the promise.