The harrowing account of Juana “La Cleopatra,” a single mother turned bloodthirsty Zetas Cartel hitwoman

Juana, once a young mother, becomes "La Cleopatra", a notorious Zetas Cartel hitwoman, revealing a dark underworld and awaiting judgment.

Juana, known later as “La Cleopatra,” embodies the plight of countless women forced into dire circumstances to financially sustain their families. Often, these women are lone caregivers, akin to Juana, who, at 15, was thrust into the perilous world of drug trafficking. Initially dubbed “La Peque” due to her youthful visage and maternal status, she had previously turned to prostitution to provide for her child.

Her trajectory in the criminal underworld accelerated after an encounter with members of the Zetas Cartel. Initially a ‘hawk’ — a lookout who would report any suspicious activities to the cartel leaders — her role evolved dramatically, culminating in her becoming a feared hitwoman.

Photo: Archive depicts Juana's evolution from a hawk to a formidable sicaria.
Photo: Archive depicts Juana’s evolution from a hawk to a formidable sicaria.

From a struggling mother to hitwoman

Within the cartel’s ranks, Juana became desensitized to the macabre. A poignant memory she shared with the Daily Mail captures the moment she witnessed a colleague bludgeon someone to death. “I remember feeling sad and thinking that I didn’t want to end up like that,” she reflected.

Her fearsome reputation was cemented as she adopted the moniker “La Cleopatra”, a nod to her gruesome method of dispatching rivals and siphoning their still-warm blood. This terrifying figure played a significant role during the tumultuous drug war, initiated by then-President Felipe Calderon, which saw an alarming spike in violence, disappearances, and the uprooting of innocent civilians from their homes.

Photo: Special indicates Juana's current incarceration, as she awaits her fate.
Photo: Special indicates Juana’s current incarceration, as she awaits her fate.

“La Cleopatra” bragged about weapons in the networks

In an era of digital bravado, “La Cleopatra” showcased her audacity online. With flaming red hair, she frequently posted photos brandishing the powerful weapons that were tools of her dark trade. Media outlets noted how her youthful demeanor, confidently displayed in these posts, became a strategic asset. The Zetas leveraged her age, luring unsuspecting rivals into a trap, blind to the fact that this young woman was an adept and brutal executioner.

In a shocking 2016 revelation, Juana confessed to the decapitation of at least five men, taking perverse pleasure in her heinous acts. Disturbingly, she recounted intimate acts with the deceased, reveling in the gore. As of three years ago, the world awaits the verdict for this infamous assassin’s deeds.