The people of Mexico were shocked to see the unrecognizable, butchered remains of Joselyn Alexandra Niño which Mexican police officers found dismembered and stuffed into an ice cooler which was abandoned at an isolated location at the U.S.-Mexico border.Joselyn Niño was a notorious assassin for the Gulf Cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful organized crime gangs, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Nino had been considered one of the best hit-women involved in the drug war between the Mexican organized crime gangs. What made her one of the most clever, deadly and efficient killers was her anonymity, at least for a while.
In Mexico, the women called Las Flakas (Skinny Girls), are young Mexicans who are drawn to lives of crime like a moth to a shining lightbulb. They are said to be extremely effective “covert agents” for the cartels’ cause — profits, status and power.
“They are ideal killers; young, beautiful and reckless,” noted Professor Andrew Chesnut, a criminologist at Virginia Commonwealth University. “By keeping a lowprofile they avoid suspicion where men doing the same job would quickly find themselves in trouble,” he added.
In the end, Joselyn Nino gave up on maintaining anonymity and became very active on social media, where she would boast of her bloody achievements. Eventually she was murdered and butchered by another young woman, known as La Gladys of the Los Zetas. The Ma Barker of Mexico gangs, La Gladys remains at large terrorizing the communities of Mexico’s northern provinces.
Today, all of Mexico’s major criminal cartels have female “Flaka” death squads. Many young women are deployed for missions where use of feminine wiles is a better strategy than brute force. In many cases, they are introduced as prostitutes to victims who are members of rival cartels or police officials.
Since 2006, close to 35,000 people have been killed in drug- and gang-related violence. In fact, according to a new Mexican database, the number of people killed in the conflict between December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon came to power, and the end of 2010 stands at 34,612.
2010 was by far the bloodiest since Calderon initiated his anti-drug military campaign against the cartels, with 15,273 deaths.