Cosmo report: Car­tel wives talk: ‘I had $3 mil­lion cash hid­den in my house’

MAN­SIONS, STRIP CLUBS AND LAMBORGHINIS:

Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Contents -

MIA AND I were out at a strip club in Mex­ico, where we lived, with our hus­bands be­cause they had as­so­ciates vis­it­ing from China. We were hav­ing a good time when all of a sud­den men wear­ing ski masks and hold­ing AK­47s came in and dragged us and our hus­bands into a car­a­van of SUVs parked out­side. I was next to my brother­in­law Peter [as the men dragged Mia out] kick­ing and scream­ing for her life and he said, ‘If I had a gun I would shoot her right now.’ At that very mo­ment, I re­alised he wanted to put her out of her mis­ery out of fear of what was go­ing to hap­pen to us. Women in Mex­ico in these sit­u­a­tions are tor­tured, raped and mur­dered.

I had a Nex­tel flip phone [with a Di­rect Con­nect walki­etalkie fea­ture] and I man­aged to press the two­way fea­ture, hop­ing that my other broth­erin­law, who was at our home, could hear me. I was scream­ing to this masked man, ‘Tell us what you want! Do you want $10 mil­lion dol­lars? We have money, we will pay you!’ My brother­in­law did hear me and, through that, our re­lease was even­tu­ally ne­go­ti­ated. A NOR­MAL UP­BRING­ING

Nei­ther Mia nor I grew up among the car­tels. We both came from Chicago with po­lice of­fi­cers as fa­thers. We had re­ally lov­ing fam­i­lies; my par­ents were high­school sweet­hearts who in­stilled morals in me and worked hard to send me to pri­vate schools. But I was al­ways at­tracted to the bad boys. My first hus­band was sent to jail for an ex­tended pe­riod of time for sell­ing drugs, and my sec­ond hus­band was mur­dered. Mia was raised in a good home and went to col­lege to be­come a court re­porter; she was never ex­posed to this world un­til she met Peter through a mu­tual friend. I THOUGHT I COULD CHANGE HIM I met Ju­nior through my sec­ond hus­band. They did busi­ness to­gether and were very close friends, so I knew him for many years. I had seen the qual­i­ties of my fa­ther in him; he was soft­spo­ken, car­ing, com­pas­sion­ate, po­lite and very re­spect­ful, and I couldn’t be­lieve that he was a drug dealer. I knew that he didn’t be­long in that lifestyle; he was so much bet­ter than that. I fell madly in love with him and I wanted to do ev­ery­thing I could to change him. I knew there were only two ways out of this life – death or jail – and was ter­ri­fied of los­ing him. But over the course of our re­la­tion­ship, he got drawn deeper and deeper into the car­tel world – it’s easy to get sucked into that lux­u­ri­ous lifestyle. But I knew that he was a good man with a good heart and I felt like one day he could change. THE CAR­TEL LIFE

We had man­sions, beach houses, house­keep­ers, lux­ury cars, and we went on hol­i­day when­ever we wanted, wher­ever we wanted. They’d shut down night­clubs just for us and restau­rants would open up af­ter­hours just for our hus­bands and their as­so­ciates, who’d spend tens of thou­sands of dol­lars in one night. There was a room next to our bed­room with $2­3 mil­lion cash piled up in bun­dles. That sort of lifestyle was re­ally ad­dic­tive.

‘You get sucked into that lifestyle re­ally fast’

AS MANY WIVES AS YOU CAN AF­FORD The men in the car­tel world are wom­an­is­ers – they treat women like door­mats. The say­ing in Mex­ico is that you can have as many wives as you can af­ford, so they have dif­fer­ent fam­i­lies with dif­fer­ent women, and they don’t treat them with re­spect. Mia and I were for­tu­nate that our hus­bands didn’t have that men­tal­ity and were noth­ing like them. When we lived in Mex­ico, our hus­bands took Mia and I ev­ery­where with them while the other men would have mis­tresses, pros­ti­tutes and strip­pers. Sadly, there’s such poverty in Mex­ico that these women dream of be­ing mar­ried to a narco. They think it’s the only way for them to es­cape poverty, and nar­cos take ad­van­tage of them. Our hus­bands were so dif­fer­ent from ev­ery­one else in that world.

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