A woman in northern Mexico who became a social media sensation for appearing in photographs wielding pink and gold-plated automatic weapons is now denying having anything to do with “Los Ántrax,” the fearsome assassin wing of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Claudia Ochoa Felix — who is frequently dubbed a Kim Kardashian lookalike — captured the attention of news outlets and blogs starting in January with photos on Twitter and Instagram that showed her enjoying the sort of spoils that Mexicans relate with the lives of successful drug traffickers.
In one photo, Ochoa Felix appeared lounging between masked gunmen and a glass of white wine. In another, she snaps a photo of a child she calls her son, covered in bundles of Mexican peso notes.
In time, fans called her the “Empress of the Anthrax,” and linked her with the group’s leader José Rodrigo Aréchiga Gamboa, aka “El Chino Ántrax.” The Instagram-loving drug lord was apprehended on December 30, 2013, at Amsterdam’s international airport and now awaits extradition to the US on drug conspiracy charges.
Although the source of such claims remains unclear, Ochoa Felix has now been alleged to be the wing’s new boss several times in the Mexican press.
Ochoa Felix’s social media accounts have been deleted or taken over by copycats. And, on Thursday, the 27-year-old called a press conference in her hometown of Culiacan, Sinaloa state. At the event she spoke out against what she called mere rumors of her involvement with the Sinaloa Cartel, Mexico’s largest and most powerful drug-trafficking organization.
“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,” Ochoa said, stuttering her words a bit and wearing a modest blazer and skirt.
Accompanied by a lawyer and one of her three children, Ochoa told reporters that she was not the woman depicted in some of the photos, but did not deny that she appeared in others.
“That’s not me in the majority of them,” she said. “I’ve filed a complaint before the authorities so that they can investigate and arrest those responsible for opening and administering [the accounts], causing irreparable harm to my children and myself.”
Still, a woman with an almost exact resemblance to Claudia Ochoa Felix (who certainly attempted to dress like Kardashian in some images) appeared in some of the photos.
Mexican drug cartels have generated a few influential female leaders in the past. Sandra Ávila Beltrán was known as the “Queen of the Pacific” for her role leading trafficking logistics for the Sinaloa Cartel, before she was arrested in 2007 in Mexico City.
In mid-May, Ochoa Felix’s mystique only rose after an unconfirmed report emerged on the gore-focused indie news site El Blog del Narco recounting how a woman was “picked up” from a gym in Culiacan and later found dead. According to the story, Yuriana Castillo Torres was killed because her kidnappers mistakenly identified her as the supposed “Empress of the Ántrax.”
Even if she is concerned for her physical safety, Claudia Ochoa Felix isn’t shying away completely from the limelight. She apparently opened a Facebook fan page, on June 7.
Photo via Facebook/Claudia Ochoa Felix