A Mexican beauty queen detained on suspicion of drug and weapons violations has been stripped of her crown in the Hispanoamerican Queen pageant, contest organizers said Saturday.
Laura Zuniga, 23, was stripped of first-place honors for “failure to comply with the regulations of the title she represents,” Bolivia-based pageant organizing company Gloria Promociones said in a statement. She beat more than 19 contestants from Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States to win the title in October.
Runner-up Vivian Noronha of Brazil will receive the crown.
But doubts are already beginning to arise about Zuniga’s string of pageant victories, after a Sinaloa state official told local media that she may not have gone through the proper auditions for the Miss Sinaloa contest.
“Everything indicates she won her crown through the intervention of her boyfriend, a drug lord,” wrote columnist Carlos Puig in the Mexican newspaper Milenio.