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Mexican beauty queen stripped of title
30/12/2008 10:21

Laura Zuniga, the Mexican beauty queen jailed after she was picked up with an alleged drug cartel leader and heavily armed men, has been stripped of one of her titles, Bolivian organizers said over the weekend.

Zuniga lost her title as Queen of Hispanic America, said Promociones Gloria, the Bolivian group that organizes the event said.

Vivian Noronha Cia of Brazil now takes the tiara "as consequence of the events known to the public in which Miss Laura Zuniga... was involved," Promociones Gloria said in a brief statement on Saturday.

Zuniga "failed to follow the rules of the contest, which state that the winner must display correct behavior, stay away from scandals and bad habits, and be a good example to society," Tatiana Limpias de Tarabillo, who heads Promociones Gloria, told the Bolivian daily El Deber.

Zuniga, 23, was picked up late on Monday at a military checkpoint in the western Mexican state of Jalisco while traveling with seven armed men in two vehicles carrying $100,000 in cash. Authorities said they found two AR-15 rifles, three pistols, 633 cartridges and 16 mobile phones in the vehicles.

A judge on Friday ordered "the cautionary measure" of 40 days detention for Zuniga and the men "for probably committing crimes" relating to drug trafficking and transporting weapons, the office of Mexico's attorney general said.

Zuniga was picked up along with Angel Orlando Garcia Urquizar, "presumed to be one of the leaders of the Juarez Cartel," the statement read. Police earlier identified Zuniga as Garcia Urquizar's girlfriend. Zuniga is originally from Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, birthplace of one of Mexico's most powerful cartels.

There has been no word on whether Zuniga will keep her title as "Miss Sinaloa," which she won in July.

Xinhua/China Daily