Mexican beauty queen killed in gun battle between soldiers, drug traffickers in northern Mexico

Maria Susana Flores Gamez.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – A 20-year-old Mexican beauty queen was killed in a gun battle between soldiers and suspected drug traffickers in northwestern Mexico at the weekend.

The body of Maria Susana Flores Gamez was found outside an armored van on a rural road in Sinaloa state, home to the powerful drug cartel of the same name, ABC News and CBS News reported today, citing state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera.

Flores Gamez was crowned 2012 Woman of Sinaloa in a beauty pageant in February.

She was traveling in one of the vehicles involved in an hours-long car chase and gunbattle on Saturday, the Associated Press reported.

An assault rifle was found near her body, but authorities are not sure if she fired the weapon.

Two gang members died and four were detained, the AP said.

El Universal reported that three gang members were killed.

ABC News reported that Flores Gamez is not the first Mexican beauty queen with links to drug cartels.

Miss Sinaloa 2008 Laura Zuniga was arrested the same year she won her title with a group of drug traffickers outside Guadalajara in the western state of Jalisco. She was later stripped of her crown.

In the northern state of Chihuahua, meanwhile, the tortured and bound bodies of four men were found on Monday, the AP reported. Another five people were killed in a shooting elsewhere in the state.

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