Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz: their friction with one of the leaders of the Beltrán Leyva cartel

The actresses allegedly stayed at the property of a Mexican drug trafficker. (Photo: REUTERS / Mike Blake) (MIKE BLAKE /)

Located in imposing natural settings in Mexico and based on the story of two women who come together to seek justice for their families, the movie Bandidas It was released more than 10 years ago with a new nod to the western genre and the performances of Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz, who were later accused of staying at the property of one of the most powerful men in the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, Sergio Villarreal Barragán, alias “El Grande”.

The episode that united the actresses and the boss, now a witness in the process that persecutes Genaro García Luna in the United States, it happened in 2004 in the state of Durango, when they were precisely filming the tape Bandidas, which had bad reviews and a box office collection of around USD 18,381,890.

It was not until 2008 that this event came to light. The newspaper The universal was aware of the previous investigation PGR / SIEDO / UE- IDCS / 008/2007, in which they settled several testimonies of the filming that linked the Mexican and Spanish with El Grande, well known for its appearance: it measures 1.98 meters and weighs 115 kilos.

The witnesses assured the Sub-attorney General’s Office for Specialized Investigation in Organized Crime (SIEDO) that both artists stayed during filming at the Peña del Águila ranch in the capital of Durango, while the Mexican also did it on another occasion.

Bandidas Salma Hayek (Infobae)

“Salma Hayek fell asleep when she had to do a movie presentation in Durango,” declared one of the informants, who also indicated that this property was purchased with resources obtained from illegal activities.

In the document, held by the Mexican media, there is another testimony that links the actresses with the ownership of “El Grande”: “I know that he owns the ranch located in the capital of Durango, and that is where Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz stayed when they filmed the movie Bandidas.”

The local press also closely followed the passage of the famous ones in Durango, thus verifying that the protagonist of Frida He had two houses at his disposal, one of them “El Grande”, and was always heavily guarded.

“There were cameras and people watching; we thought it was to take care of the paparazzi ”, commented a journalist; Another reporter added: “Salma Hayek, unlike his colleague from the film Penélope Cruz, he always wandered with four escorts ”.

Witnesses testified before the Mexican authorities that the actresses stayed at a ranch owned by El Grande in Durango (Photo: screenshot)
Witnesses testified before the Mexican authorities that the actresses stayed at a ranch owned by El Grande in Durango (Photo: screenshot)

After knowing the version of The universal, the actresses spoke out and it was through a statement released by Penelope’s representative that They denied knowing the drug trafficker, but not his stay on the property located in Durango.

The production office of Bandidas arranged the actors’ accommodation, as usual for the filming of a movie. Penelope Cruz chose to stay in a hotel, while Salma Hayek preferred to stay in a house, “the document reads.

“Salma Hayek was never aware of who owned the home, nor did she have any contact with the owner or anyone related to the home, rented and paid for by the producer of the film,” sentenced Cruz’s team report.

“Neither the actresses nor their respective producers were involved in the production of the film,” concluded.

The film directed by Norwegians Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg was also filmed in San Luis Potosí, where there are no records of incidents.

Currently El Grande is free thanks to a cooperation agreement with the US authorities and he is one of the protected witnesses in the Genaro García Luna case, despite having more than 90 people were kidnapped, tortured and quartered.

According to the journalist Anabel Hernández, who had access to the statements of “El Grande”, the drug trafficker revealed that Genaro García Luna and his “compadre” Luis Cárdenas Palomino, collaborated for the Sinaloa Cartel and the Beltrán Leyva when they were both in the Federal Public Security Secretariat during the Felipe Calderón administration.

While the writer Héctor de Mauleón He notes that he was last seen in a part of Houston.


He tortured and murdered more than 90 people: “El Grande”, former lieutenant of the Beltrán Leyva, has been free since December

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