Beauty queen faces 50 years in jail for alleged involvement in kidnapping gang

A gorgeous beauty queen faces 50 years behind bars for her alleged involvement in an organised kidnapping ring in Mexico

Laura Mojica Romero, 25, won the Miss Oaxaca beauty contest in 2018 and was known locally for her modelling and pageant performances.

The Veracruz State Attorney General’s Office on Monday, February 15 issued a statement confirming the arrest of eight suspects, including Romero, on February 11.

In a statement, Romero was described as one of "eight alleged members of a criminal organisation specialising in kidnap".

Raul, Maria del Rosario, Ana Martha, Cesar Enrique, Diego, Jossiel and Luis Antonio, were also identified by police.

The group are alleged to belong to a criminal organisation which specialises in carrying out kidnappings in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Veracruz.

Prosecutors said the city's elite anti-kidnap unit had acted to ensure there was "no truce for people who cause serious harm to Veracruz".

No details about the investigation prior to the group's detainment have been released.

A judge granted the unit two months to finalise a case against the gang, all of whom remain in custody.

The force said: "The eight alleged kidnappers have been remanded in custody for two months while the investigation continues."

Romero is currently being held in Huatusco, a city in the Mexican state of Veracruz, it has been reported.

If convicted, each person could face up to 50 years behind bars, meaning Romero would be 75 upon release.

Romero, who comes from the city of San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec in Oaxaca, won the Miss Oaxaca 2018 regional beauty contest and took part in the Miss Mexico competition in 2019.

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In an interview in January 2019, she described herself as "more than just a pretty face" and said she had graduated from university with a business degree.

The beauty also said her priorities include tackling the problem of violence against women and campaigned to "eradicate" the issue through "talks that make men aware".

She said: "We can't stand idly by, we have to eradicate violence against women, through campaigns and educational talks that make men aware of this issue."

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