Miss Ecuador contestant, 23, fatally shot amid alleged connection to drug cartels

By Linh Le   May 2, 2024 | 11:22 pm PT
Landy Párraga, a 23-year-old contender in the 2022 Miss Ecuador pageant, was assassinated by gunmen while inside a restaurant in Quevedo, Ecuador.
Miss Ecuador 2022 contestant Landy Párraga. Photo from Párragas Instagram

Miss Ecuador 2022 contestant Landy Párraga. Photo from Párraga's Instagram

According to the Daily Mail, surveillance video from the April 28 incident shows two masked attackers entered the restaurant. Párraga and a male friend were taken by surprise while standing at their table. The footage captures one of the assailants shooting at Párraga and the man, with Párraga subsequently collapsing and then being shot again while on the ground.

The perpetrators then quickly escaped the scene, leaving a harrowing scene of the beauty queen sprawled in a pool of her own blood.

Local authorities are investigating the killing, exploring potential motives, and trying to determine the identities of the murderers.

This murder is set against a backdrop involving Párraga’s name surfacing in a discussion disclosed by Ecuador’s Attorney General’s Office about a significant organized crime investigation.

According to The New York Post, the discussion, which occurred in December 2023, involved Helive Angulo and Leandro Norero, a known drug trafficker for whom Angulo managed assets. During the conversation, Angulo shared that he had been interrogated by police regarding Párraga, eliciting a worried reaction from Norero.

"If my wife comes across anything about her, I’m screwed," Norero remarked. "My friend, her name cannot come out anywhere. Otherwise, my world will come crashing down."

Norero was subsequently murdered in prison in 2022.

The Attorney General’s Office is also looking into financial transactions made to Párraga’s accounts, although she had not been formally charged or responded publicly to these accusations.

Párraga was a renowned social media influencer and entrepreneur, running a business that imported household goods and a sportswear brand.

go to top