Narcotics & Narcissism
Is Mexico's Kim Kardashian-Lookalike Assassin for Real?
Claudia Ochoa Felix of Sinaloa bears a striking resemblance to the reality-TV star and shares her love of social media—but is said to be the new boss of the Sinaloa cartel murder gang.
The Kim Kardashian look-alike being called the new head of a Mexican drug cartel’s hit squad has taken down the Twitter page where she posted pictures of herself in stiletto heels toting a pink AK-47, propping an M16 on her curvaceous hip, and luxuriantly reclining among masked gunmen.
Claudia Ochoa Felix of Culiacan clearly felt the page undercut her vehement denial that she is “La Emperatriz de los Antrax,” or boss lady of the Sinaloa cartel murder gang named after the deadly virus. Her insistence that she is just a devoted mom was not helped by the symbol she posted beside pictures of herself with the M16 and the pink AK-47.
Next to a picture of her holding a grenade launcher, she adds, “Watch your step, friend! :)”
On Saturday, Claudia created a personal page on Facebook “created to clarify all your doubts so as also to answer your questions.”
“The only thing I ask is you to be respectful!” she wrote.
The Daily Beast made a respectful inquiry regarding the allegations and her relationship with the imprisoned Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa, also known as El Chino Antrax, whom she is alleged to have replaced as the head of the hit team.
“I have no relationship with Mr. Arechiga!” she replied via a mobile device. “We were just friends and that’s all.”
But the photos remain out there in cyberspace, among them one of her young son sprawled on a bed, covered with bundles of cash. She poses in another picture with Tucanes de Tijuana, a narcocorrido band that composed an anthem to Los Antrax. Another shows the pink AK-47 on the red leather passenger seat of a BMW Series 3. A death’s head, symbol of Los Antrax, is painted in black on the ammo clip.
And her pictures went up on Twitter and Instagram contemporaneously with an extraordinary number of other images posted by younger members of the Sinaloa cartel. They seem as self-distractedly addicted to social media as many of their customers are to drugs.
It is all about narcotics and narcissism.
The photos of Claudia are that much more jarring for sharing a page with images of the three children she is said to have had with reputed Sinaloa cartel lieutenant El Chavo Felix.
“I thank God for giving me an honorable mother, a loving father, a great brother and my 3 children, without them I could not live,” she says in a Facebook post.
Claudia reportedly parted with El Chavo and took up with another cartel figure, Dorian Trinidad Leon Angulo, after he escaped from a Mexican prison in 2011.
That relationship ended with a car accident in which Angulo was killed and Claudia Ochoa Felix was injured. She recovered and was soon seen in the company of El Chino Antrax, emperor of the Los Antrax hit squad.
Gamboa tweeted as El Chino Antrax @Commandante 57_, offering such pronouncements as “I love you, but I do not pray for love,” and “My love, Twitter is the only bird I don’t get jealous of.”
He also posted dozens of photos. Several were of pairs of custom-made sneakers that say “Chino” on the back of the left and “Antrax” on the back of the right. Others are of him in $1,500 Christian Louboutin shoes alongside a Bentley and a Rolls-Royce and various sports cars, yachts, and private planes.
He brandishes various weapons, though in all the photos he was careful either to crop off or blur his face, even in a snap of himself with Paris Hilton. He is identifiable in the pictures only by a silver ring on the fourth finger of his right hand bearing a Los Antrax death’s head. He certainly was more discreet than Serafin Zambada, son of one of the cartel’s two top bosses.
Serafin posted numerous identifiable photos of himself on Facebook, as well as pictures of a disemboweled informer. He also posted a photo of several masked members of Los Antrax standing around a young woman whom he said was suspected of being a snitch. He wrote that she would have to be giving information without her head after El Chino removed it.
In the same album were snaps of a big birthday celebration for El Chino last year. One shot is of a party favor, an action figure painted to look like a Sinaloa killer with “El Chino, Thank you for coming” painted on the base.
Serafin’s birthday present to El Chino was a gold-plated AK-47 inlaid with silver death’s heads. A photo taken from behind shows El Chino with it slung over his back as a woman’s manicured hand flashes the two-fingered peace sign.
Even with his own face blurred, El Chino’s photos are said to have been useful to U.S. investigators in tracking him. His pictures of himself in Japan and Egypt and Rome and Paris told agents that he likes to travel. His death’s head ring helped confirm his true identity when he landed under another name on a flight from Mexico to Amsterdam on December 31 of last year.
El Chino was arrested and now faces imminent extradition on drug charges in California. The witnesses against him may include Vincente Zambada, brother of the informer-hating Serafin. Vincente is cooperating with U.S. authorities in exchange for a lighter sentence.
In the meantime, the U.S. named El Chino a drug kingpin and moved to seize the very wealth he flaunted in his online photos. Some in the Mexican press suggest that he was seeking to protect his assets along with his position in making Claudia a kind of proxy head of Los Antrax.
She has vigorously denied it all, though she does seem to slyly allude to El Chino in the very Facebook page that she says she created to clarify doubts about her. She cites an “always wise Chinese” who teaches, “Between times of war, new battles await you.”
While El Chino remained in custody, somebody maintained a Facebook page in his name. A photo posted on April 14 showed a woman’s left hand holding a clear glass bottle in the shape of a death’s head.
“La Emperatriz Del Viruz taking,” the caption read.
A picture posted on April 24 was of a woman’s right hand clutching a massive gold-plated automatic pistol.
“What La Emperatriz Del Viruz packs,” this caption read.
Interestingly, the inside of the wrist appears to have a tattoo that is not evident in the Instagram photos Claudia has posted of herself.
On May 6, gunmen grabbed a woman they apparently believed to be Claudia as she left the Extreme Fitness Gym in Culiacan. Yuriana Castillo turned out to be another El Chino girlfriend who bears some resemblance to Kardashian. The look-alike-look-alike’s body was dumped behind a school the next day. She had been tortured and hanged.
When the story of the mixup reached the Mexican media, so did allegations that Claudia had become the new head of Los Antrax. The Internet went wild, and Claudia soon had more than 100,000 followers on Twitter, more than double that of Serafin, more than quadruple that of El Chino. And the image of her with that pink AK-47 is more indelible in the local cyber consciousness than all the photos of those Scarface wannabes.
Whether or not Claudia was in fact the Emperatriz de los Antrax, she unquestionably was the Reina de Twitter among the pathologically narcissistic narcos.
“When you have more followers [and] are as dynamic as El Chino Antrax!” she posted on her new Facebook page.