The rise and fall of the female hit squad Las Flacas in Mexico’s drug wars

The dual lives of Mexico's undercover female assassins, where beauty disguises a lethal profession in the world of drug cartels.

Before, in Mexico, the role of women in drug trafficking was centered on serving only the capos as ladies-in-waiting or taking care of their children in common. Still, women grew gradually in organized crime to have a presence in high command positions in the cartels, as happened to Enedina Arellano Felix, who, after the death and capture of her brothers, led the Tijuana Cartel for a while.

Likewise, the participation of women in organized crime also includes being involved in the line of fire as hired assassins who are generally dedicated to assassinating rival drug traffickers seeking to take over the northern Mexican states, which, given their proximity to the US borders, are of vital importance to criminals as they are the main market for selling drugs.

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“La Vero” was arrested by the Mexican Army. Photo: Special

Who was the first “Flaca”?

Due to the high level of competition between drug traffickers, they have employed various strategies, including forming special groups and armed arms to confront their rivals. One of these Mexican groups was a so-called cartel mainly comprised of women who dedicated their time to being hired assassins, known as “Las Flacas.”

Their main strength was that they were a special group that spent much of their free time taking care of their physical appearance to avoid raising suspicions that they were part of a team of mercenaries. “Las Flacas” had a slender body, their well-groomed faces even conveyed innocence, and their well-groomed hands would never have guessed that their victims were experts in pulling the trigger of their firearms.

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Veronica Moreno fulfilled the prototype of the hit women they were looking for. Photo: Special

Their attractive appearance made them look harmless and incapable of killing. Established cartels hired them to assassinate their rivals through the surprise factor of their slim physique that made them look like “good girls.” Las Flacas assassins generally operated with M4 assault rifles.

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One of the first Flacas to be identified was former policewoman Veronica Mireya Moreno Carreon, alias “La Vero,” whose career within the police force in Nuevo Leon also led her to be one of the officers decorated for her trajectory; however, she ended up joining the ranks of the Zetas Cartel, which is known for recruiting former members of the country’s security forces.

The fatal fate of Las Flacas

In one of her photographs still circulating in the networks, Veronica fulfills all the characteristics sought after in women to join Las Flacas. She was a beautiful woman with a good body who liked to look good. But her career in drug trafficking ended in 2011 when the Mexican Army arrested her.

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“The girl hitwoman” died mutilated. She was one of the bosses of Las Flacas. Photo: Special

Las Flacas were always identified because they shared common accessories every time they worked as hitwomen: they wore bulletproof vests, jewelry such as gold chains hanging from their necks, neatly crafted hairstyles, and manicures on their hands.

Las Flacas had its heyday in the 2010s. They operated mainly in the states of Tamaulipas, Sonora, and Chihuahua. By 2015, the female group of hitwomen was victims of a heavy blow when one of their leaders named Joselyn, alias “La niña sicario,” was found dead, dismembered, and the remains of her body placed in a cooler.