A WOMAN known as the “Kim Kardashian of organised crime” may instigate a brutal and bloody gang war in the wake of last week’s arrest of drug king pin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, The Sun reports. The glamorous bikini-and-stilettos clad Claudia Ochoa Felix heads the ruthless hit squad Los Ántrax but drug policy experts fear she could attempt to take El Chapo’s place.
Felix is known for posting provocative photographs to social media. In one, her sons are pictured surrounded by piles of cash. In another, she brandishes an AK47 like a fashion accessory. Felix’s Twitter account, which hasn’t been used since 2014, largely shows her with her three children, while her Instagram account is private and many posts have since been deleted.
No stranger to a selfie, the mother-of-three was thrust into the spotlight after incorrect reports emerged that she can been tortured and killed. Felix, who reportedly denies she is La Emperatriz de Los Ántrax, or the Empress of anthrax, was installed as leader of the group following the arrest of boyfriend and former boss, Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa, The Mirror reported.
However it’s the potential power vacuum left by Guzman which some experts fear could lead to a brutal and deadly drug war. Gunman was arrested last Friday in Los Mochis, a seaside city in his northwestern home state of Sinaloa. Officials said Guzman’s “almost obsessive” desire to see actor Kate Del Castillo contributed to his recapture.
Guzman, 58, left his mountain hide-out because troops were circling him, but his hope of seeing her again also led him to the city. The drug lord had been on the run for more than six months after escaping from maximum-security facility Altiplano Prison on July 11. If he stays in the Mexican prison, it is believed it will be business as usual as he will run the cartel from behind bars.
But if the US succeeds in having him extradited, which could potentially take months, it could cause an internal battle to claim power. In a blog post for the Houston Chronicle, Drug policy expert and Mexico crime author Nathan Jones said: “If Guzman is extradited, he could lose significant operational control over proxies, which could adversely impact internal Sinaloa cartel cohesion.
“It is possible sub-networks such as Los Antrax or the Gente Nueva (enforcer paramilitary apparatuses) could potentially break free and into internecine conflict with the Sinaloa Cartel.” Los Ántrax is the much-feared assassin wing of the Sinaloa Cartel. In 2014, Felix reportedly addressed rumours about her apparent involvement in the cartel during a press conference in her hometown of Culiacan, Sinaloa state, according to Vice.
“My children are being subjected to bullying, my mother is suffering from anxiety, and I am devastated and without peace, and now my physical integrity is threatened,” she said. She claimed it wasn’t her in a large majority of the photos and asked authorities to look at investigating who was running the accounts.