Cosmo report: Cartel wives talk: ‘I had $3 million cash hidden in my house’
MANSIONS, STRIP CLUBS AND LAMBORGHINIS:
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.