Miss Colombia contest bars woman linked to Mexican kingpin

August 10th, 2011 - 12:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, Aug 10 (IANS/EFE) The organisers of the Miss Colombia beauty pageant have barred the participation of a contestant for the title because of her alleged ties with a Mexican drug trafficker, the list of candidates released Tuesday indicates.

Laura Cantillo, who would have represented the Caribbean resort city of Cartagena, is not registered for the contest.

Colombian media said the beauty was kept out of the pageant because “a Mexican drug trafficker sponsored the 2008 Maja Colombia competition” which she won.

According to the disappointed candidate’s family, “malicious people” tried to sully her name with no proof of any wrongdoing on her part.

Over the last few days a television programme reported the Mexican kingpin’s alleged sponsorship of the contest that Cantillo won in 2008.

“The programme analyzed details of what the Maja Colombia contest’s director, Antonio Vergara Olmos, has been up to…,” the press said Tuesday.

The excluded contestant, 19-year-old Laura Marcela Cantillo, is studying engineering at the Technological University of Bolivar, in Cartagena.

Rules of the contest state that candidates “must not engage in conduct that could harm its good name and image”.

The beauty pageant in which Miss Colombia is chosen each November in Cartagena attracts more viewers than practically any other TV programme in the country.

–IANS/EFE
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