PHOTOS: The Rise and Fall of Mexico’s Most Notorious Female Cartel Leader

Melissa Calderon is the 30-year-old cartel boss who has become known as one of the most powerful cartel bosses in Mexico. Known also as ‘La China’, her reputation for violent bloodshed, and murder is so great that her own boyfriend is believed to have turned her into authorities.

According to reports from The Daily Mail, La China, who was arrested earlier in the week in Mexico City, is a maniacal ‘control-freak’ whose ruthless brutality and short temper left her underlings horrified and too terrorized to cross her.

Those who got on her bad side would be tortured and disposed of. In the investigation into her crimes, it is believed that she may have murdered as many as 180 people.

La China’s boyfriend, who also acted as her right-hand man, Pedro Gomez recently betrayed her to authorities in exchange for a reduced sentence for his own crimes. He included the details of her crimes, the locations of her secret burial sites for her victims, and more.

The final straw for Gomez was after La China turned on several of her closest henchmen, after she believed they were disloyal to her. She had them murdered, and the bodies dumped in remote secret graves.

Terrified of her, and disgusted by her ruthlessness he fled and fell into the hands of the police.  He gave them information into her murders, which led to the discovery of several bodies.

La China was subsequently arrested. She is currently waiting to stand trial and is charged with over 150 murders.

She was a known member of the Damaso Cartel since 2005, and she rose to power quickly through her willingness to participate in violence.

According to some reports, murders in her territory tripled in the years after she took over.

Apparently her most infamous ‘calling card’ was to kidnap her victims from the safety of their family homes, and send back their dismembered bodies—dumping them on their own doorsteps as a warning message to all.

She loved to show off too. As the photos in the slideshow above depict, she amassed a huge collection of weapons and would often pose for fearsome pictures with them.

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