‘Cartel babes’ become drug gang assassins in organised crime ‘phenomenon’

Cartel babes are the latest organised crime "phenomenon" in Mexico as increasing numbers of women are becoming drug cartel assassins.

A report from Milenio TV, a Mexican news channel, says that authorities in the state of Zacatecas have identified more and more women involved in cartel activity.

Footage broadcast by the channel shows balaclava-clad women dressed in tactical military gear and armed with assault rifles moving with cartel convoys.

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"This is a phenomenon that had not been recorded before," the reporter said.

"These women have been captured on film in their role as assassins and leaders of these groups."

Residents in the town of Loreto filmed two female cartel operatives stealing motorbikes on Monday (March 13).

They also appeared standing guard as a male cartel assassin arranged ATVs sat atop a truck.

According to Milenio TV, cartel thugs attempted to ambush a State Police convoy in the area on the day the footage was captured. The cops were there guarding a funeral procession for a police officer who was killed last Friday (March 10).

Officials told the channel that there is no official figure for how many women they think might be involved in cartel activity in Zacatecas. They did however insist the number "has increased in recent months".

The report states two recent deadly cartel attacks in the town of Jerez involved female leaders.

Monday's ambush meant that State Police, the National Guard and members of the Mexican military were all sent to Loreto on Tuesday (March 14).

"Heavily armed men and women on ATVs," were roaming the streets after the shooting according to locals.

It remains unclear which drug cartel the women were working for.

The state of Zacatecas is one of several regions where the country's two most powerful criminal organisations – the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) – are engaged in a bloody war for control.

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