Wow,who knew drug money and bling can get you a beautiful woman and former beauty queen. But there are pitfalls to being a cartel boss’s girlfriend. Like being shot in the leg when he grows tired of you. “Now that’s rough”.
For eight years she was the lover of one of Colombia’s most ruthless cocaine trafficker, Wilber Varela. He was head of the North Valle Cartel.
“He had two faces. I saw him so tender with the ones he loved, then you see the cartel killings. He always said he was the best of friends and the worst of enemies,” Guzman told me during an interview in Bogota. Video Watch Guzman describe Varela and how she met him »
The Colombian government accused Varela of running tonnes of cocaine to the United States via Central America in go-fast speed boats and to Europe in small jets.
Authorities put a $5 million bounty on his head. He gained a reputation for brutality during a years-long dispute with a splinter faction of the same cartel, led by Diego Montoya, who until his capture in 2007 was listed alongside Osama bin Laden on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List.
Guzman was just 19 when she met Varela. He told her he was a cattle rancher. She didn’t ask questions and says she only found out the truth when she saw a police Wanted poster with her boyfriend’s mugshot.
He wooed her with expensive gifts and sponsored her through “Chica Med,” a second-rate beauty pageant organizers now concede was viewed as a cattle market by gangsters looking for new girls. Some mob bosses bought the beauty title as a gift for their molls though it’s not clear whether Varela paid for Guzman’s title.