Today in true Mexican crime stories—a country where a drug czar named El Chapo tunneled his way out of maximum security prison—meet La China. The 31-year-old female assassin was the top worker for the Sinaloa cartel until her boyfriend gave her up to the authorities.

Born Melissa Margarita Calderon Ojeda, La China was a successful killer for ten years. She worked her way up to head Las Fuerzas Especiales de los Damas, a crew begun by Damaso Lopez Nunez (EL Licenciado), a leader in El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel who helped the drug czar’s first prison escape.

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According to The Daily Beast, La China was stripped of her leadership role and told to give the Damas reigns to a guy named El Grande. El Grande was a cartel heavyweight who’d just gotten out of prison but had also killed La China’s first love, Erick Davalos Von Borstel. Von Borstel had helped La China become a sicaria (killer-for-hire) and she’d tattooed his name on her arm. Instead of working for El Grande, she and her new boyfriend Hector Pedro Camarena Gomez—aka El Chino—started a new outfit with Chino as second in command, launching an internal war with El Grande.

For awhile, everything was going well with her war with El Grande, thanks to her team of 300 sicarios and corrupt police who pretended to arrest her while helping her. But eventually, honest cops captured El Grande and El Chino, along with Chino’s cellphone, which held a video clip of one of their hits.

El Chino then led authorities to La China’s burial ground where she’d tortured, maimed and murdered five people for various offenses, including knowing too much.

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Recently, thanks to a tip from El Chino, La China was captured in the Cabo San Lucas airport before boarding a flight to Sinaloa, presumably to hide in the region’s mountains. She was identified by her fingerprints, old mugshots and tattoos, including the ink of her first love Von Borstel.

La China is currently at Almoloyita, a maximum security prison, unless she pulls an El Chapo and breaks out. Only time, and the news, will tell.


Contact the author at Hillary@jezebel.com.

Image via Youtube.