A video has emerged showing the last moments of a female Mexican cartel boss who was fatally injured during a shootout with police. 21-year-old Maria Guadalupe Lopez Esquivel, nicknamed 'La Catrina' was accused of carrying out an ambush on police in Michoacan state on October 14, 2019. Maria was suspected of being one of the leaders of Mexico's Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).
Maria was allegedly hiding in a safe house with other cartel members when the police received a tip-off. National Guard police took the gang on in a brutal shootout leaving Maria with a neck wound. Body-cam footage shows Maria sitting on the floor with blood all over her face and clothes. In the video, she can be seen struggling for breath, with one of the policemen telling her to relax.
Maria was taken to the hospital in a helicopter where she was pronounced dead upon arrival. Before she was taken to the hospital she can be seen in the arms of a soldier who was helping her move towards the helicopter. According to local media reports, Maria died minutes after the helicopter took off. During the raid, police seized 10 firearms and ammunition and several vehicles. National Guard officers also reportedly arrested several cartel members identified as Alejandra, Everardo, Brayan, Juan Carlos, Octavio, Pedro, and Alejandro.
Maria joined the cartel in 2017 after falling in love with another cartel member, Miguel "El M2" Fernandez, who was also arrested during the raid. She quickly rose through the ranks and was in charge of paying fellow gang members and lead assassinations, extortion, and kidnappings. The cartel rose to prominence between 2013 and 2015 and is considered by many analysts to be the “most dangerous and largest Mexican cartel,” according to a December Congressional Research Service report. Its current leader is Rubén Oseguera Cervantes, also known as “El Mencho,” who is wanted by both US and Mexican authorities.