Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Spanish and Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Victoria Martinez




women in cartels, narcoviolencia, mexico


This paper examines the experiences of women in real life and television programs involved with drug cartels in Mexico. For women, life centered on narcotic trade in Mexico may be framed by both terror and abuse. However, there also exists a certain power dynamic achieved by women in positions of power in cartels. These real life women are known as “Las Flacas,” a self-given label that affirms both their reclamation of sexuality and also their acquiescing to a patriarchal society. Narcofiction exists as a new art form of processing and reacting to a life heavily influenced by drug trade in Mexico. Fiction surrounding women and the drug trade, including Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s novel Queen of the South and its two television adaptations Queen of the South (USA Network) and La reina del sur (Telemundo) focus on the life of fictional Mexican Queen Pin Teresa Mendoza and her confrontations with stereotypes of lacking power, female subordination, luxurious living standards, and sexuality for women in cartels.

Both the fiction and nonfiction sources allude to the narco life as being challenging and fruitful, in terms of everyday life for the women. However, the majority of Mexicans suffer from the ugly truth of dangerous drug related violence and femicide in Central America.