Dec 26th, 2008 | MEXICO CITY -- Mexican congressmen called for a federal investigation of potential drug cartel ties to the nation's beauty pageants Friday after a 23-year-old beauty queen was arrested on suspicion of drug and weapons violations.
To many, former preschool teacher Laura Zuniga, named Miss Sinaloa in the drug-plagued northern state's annual beauty contest, symbolizes declining ethics in Mexico.
"There are certainly links to things like money laundering, because of the large amounts of money that are spent on producing these types of contests," said Rep. Armando Barreiro.
Prosecutors on Friday said she will be held under house arrest pending an investigation into possible drug trafficking and gun charges.
Investigators say Zuniga was dating one of the detained men, Angel Orlando Garcia, alleged to be one of the leaders of the powerful Juarez drug cartel.
Pageant organizers say they are awaiting the results of the investigation before deciding whether to strip her of her crown.