night in Guadalajara in late 2015, I visited Bandidas with two other friends.
The bar entrance was surveilled by tall, thick-waisted men—narco guys. We
arrived during a Hawaiian night, but our waitress seemed to be working under
duress. The bar was half empty with only male patrons. Daisy’s murder had hurt
the bar’s reputation, and it was a few months before they shut down the
establishment. The ambiance inside the night we visited was already tense. Two
men appeared to be taking pictures of us while we drank beers. We left
after an hour, calling a cab to pick us up and drop us off at a nearby hotel,
where we could disappear without tracks.
next day, I visited the state court of Guadalajara with a local lawyer to talk
to a judge about Daisy’s case. In Mexico, it is illegal for journalists to
get access to court documents. But Daisy’s killer Quintero had been arrested a
few weeks earlier.
I asked for Daisy’s court file, the court clerk pretended that Daisy’s case log
was missing. Only after my lawyer friend said I was a romance novel writer
who wanted to read Daisy's case and use it in a story, did the clerk suddenly
find the missing documents. The lawyer who accompanied me said the clerk was
being paid off by the cartel to identify those who came to find information
about the case because it involved a high-level drug trafficker. When I looked
at him perplexed, he said it was the only way to get the documents.
file, which included photos of Daisy’s body in the examination room, was thick.
The case conclusion said she had been killed because Daniel Quintero Riestra,
head of the Guadalajara Plaza for the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion, believed
she belonged to him, and she had misbehaved. Daisy’s mother said Quintero was
infatuated with Daisy, and that defined her fate.
CJNG controls Guadalajara’s high-end escorts and street sex workers the same. In
early 2016, I accompanied human rights activists from Brigada Callejera, a group
that works with street sex workers in Mexico, to Guadalajara. They were there to
visit street sex workers in various neighborhoods.
one area near downtown Guadalajara, young men apparently from the CJNG started
following us. Brigada works with more downtrodden sex workers than
escorts. These women stand on street corners or in bars where they earn
US$5-10 for 20 minutes. One young woman who stopped our group as we visited a
motel where the women gathered, said the CJNG was starting to take over the area
and to impose stricter controls. Earlier gang groups had never required these
women to pay taxes. CJNG was now demanding 30 percent of their weekly