MEXICO CITY, Mexico -- The female drug lord sells heroin out of her Ciudad Juarez home, cruises in expensive cars and is behind a series of murders of rivals, according to a newspaper report.
This may sound like one more sordid crime story out of a Mexico that has reeled with a surfeit of drug-related bloodshed in 2010. But this report is actually from 1933.
The archive article from El Continental, kept in microfilm by the University of El Paso, describes a woman called Ignacia Jasso, or La Nacha, who dominates the border drug trade to eager American customers who come from as far as Albuquerque, N.M., for their fix.
"We are informed that La Nacha travels tranquilly round the Juarez streets in her luxury car that she just brought," the report goes on. "It seems she has some important influences and this is why she has not been captured." As the story of La Nacha -- who was later imprisoned -- confirms, women have been involved in the Mexican drug trade since its earliest days.
Now as the drug war spreads into a wider civil conflict that has claimed 30,000 lives in four years, women are being increasingly arrested for drug dealing, money laundering and even working as full-on assassins.