Instagram’s high-stakes fentanyl queen: the downfall of Guatemala’s Ana Gabriela Rubio Zea

Guatemalan businesswoman Ana Gabriela Rubio lived a life of luxury, secretly supplying fentanyl to the Sinaloa Cartel, until her capture by the DEA.

At 32, Ana Gabriela Rubio Zea was a successful businesswoman in her native Guatemala who liked sharing her luxurious life on social networks. “Gaby,” as she was known among her inner circle, went unnoticed for some time before being arrested after being accused of being one of the leading distributors of fentanyl for the world’s largest criminal organization, the Sinaloa Cartel.

Ana Gabriela posted photographs of her travels worldwide and showed off luxury brand products she carried. At first glance, the blonde woman did not seem to raise suspicions about her real business activity, which was linked to organized crime by supplying the chemical to the cartel founded by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman so that they could continue “cooking” the synthetic opioid to present it in the form of blue tablets for consumption by addicts.

The Guatemalan woman did not hide her visits to Mexican territory, especially to the states of the Bajío and the country’s north. In some of her postcards on Instagram, Gaby posed in landscapes in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, while wearing a long turquoise blue dress with an expensive designer bag, Ives Saint Laurent, in a visit she made in November 2020.

ana gabriela
Gaby in San Miguel de Allende. Photo: IG

But behind that facade was hidden the origin of her fortune based on the sale of illicit drugs. Ana Gabriela’s job was to gain contacts with distributors of fentanyl precursor chemicals, which she shipped from the Asian country to Guatemala and then sent to Sinaloa, Mexico, where “Los Chapitos” led by “Chapo’s” sons: Ivan Archivaldo and Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, was in charge of the deliveries.

The fall of Ana Gabriela Rubio

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) identified the Guatemalan businesswoman as one of the five leading distributors of fentanyl for the Guzmán Salazar organization. The rest of them are Kun Jiang, Yonghao Wu, Yaqin Wu, and Huatao Yao, all Chinese nationals who are wanted by authorities.

ana bgbriela
Ana Gabriela Rubio bragged about her trips to China. Photo: IG

According to the US Treasury Department, Ana Gabriela Rubio Zea used her business skills and experience to gain contacts so that the fentanyl shipment would go unnoticed by authorities and reach its final destination, the United States. In response, the DEA offered up to 10 million dollars for anyone who provided information that would lead to her capture.

ana gabriela
Gaby is wearing designer clothes and shoes. Photo: IG

But Gaby was convinced of her luxurious lifestyle and was not afraid to share it on her networks, which she still keeps public, although she stopped posting content almost two years ago; however, the content remained intact and remained as witnesses of her travels abroad and especially in her two key countries linked to drug trafficking: China and Mexico.

Thus, she ate in luxury restaurants while wearing sweatshirts and Gucci sneakers or strolled through European countries like Italy to stock her closet in the city of fashion par excellence. The link with the narco began in 2016 when she presented herself as the CEO of Igigi Technologies, where she claimed she was trying to save the world, as she assured in a YouTube video of the business.

“Years ago I started with the idea of saving the planet so we could give our future generations a sustainable place to inhabit.”

But in that 2018, when she uploaded the video, she was already fully connected to “Los Chapitos” while pretending to be an environmental entrepreneurial businesswoman traveling to cities like Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Cancun, and San Miguel de Allende as well as Rome, Venice, and Paris in addition to China.

ana gabriela
Ana Gabriela Rubio in Milan. Photo: IG

Finally, the skilled businesswoman was arrested as Ana Gabriela was identified by the Treasury Department in 2014: “From approximately 2014 and continuing to the present (2023), Rubio has worked as a key supplier of fentanyl precursor chemicals from China to drug traffickers in Mexico, including members of the Sinaloa Cartel.”

ana gabriela
Gaby was arrested and will be transferred to the US. Photo: IG

On April 4, the federal jury for the Southern District of New York returned a formal indictment against the businesswoman and others charged with “fentanyl importation conspiracy, fentanyl trafficking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.”