It sounds like the plot of a fantastic action film made in Hollywood as a mother tracked down a drug cartel to find her daughter.
Miriam Rodríguez Martínez took it upon herself to hunt down the members of an undoubtedly dangerous group in search of her child.
She lived in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas in the San Fernando community. In 2012, her daughter, 20-year-old Karen Alejandra Salinas Rodríguez, vanished.
Then, Miriam received ransom demands in exchange for her daughter's freedom. Sadly, Karen was never found safely and returned home.
Instead, her body was found on an abandoned ranch two years later.
That's when Miriam decided to show the world what an angered and hurt mother can truly do.
A Fearless Mission
Miriam wanted to find the killers who robbed her daughter of her life, and nothing was going to stop her.
At first, she begged the cartels to return her daughter safely. However, the Zeta cartel said they didn't know Miriam or her daughter. They did promise to find Karen, though - for a fee.
The desperate mother paid the money, but her child was never returned to her as promised.
Like a real spy, she managed to learn the name of one of the cartel members from her phone conversations with them.
As a result, she was able to track down his home address.
Miriam went to the home as an undercover elected official. She also interviewed his neighbors about his activities.
If you think that's exciting, the rest of this brave woman's story will stun you!
Miriam cornered one of the men in an alley. Putting a gun to his back, she gave him a serious warning that if he moved, she would shoot.
As time went on, she chased the cartel and even managed to help bring ten members belonging to the Zeta cartel to justice.
Unfortunately, Miriam couldn't carry on her mission alone for too long. On Mother's Day in 2017, she was assassinated.
She was shot 12 times in front of her home, and her mission was not completed.
Suspects were arrested, but some of them escaped prison.
Working Towards Many Goals
Miriam may have started out with only revenge on her mind, but she did a lot of good for others.
She helped other parents who had missing children to try and locate them. The effort was dubbed the Colectivo de Desaparecidos (The Vanished Collective) organization.
History of The Zeta Cartel
Los Zetas' history can be traced back to the late 1990s. Commandos of the Mexican Army decided to leave their ranks and work for the Gulf Cartel as enforcement.
In 2010, Los Zetas formed their criminal organization after breaking away from the cartel.
At one point, they were Mexico's largest drug cartel when it comes to geographical presence. The Zeta cartel overtook their rivals, the Sinaloa cartel.
Recent times saw them become more fragmented, and their influence waned.
In 2016, the Old School Zetas and Bravo Group formed an alliance with the Gulf cartel. They stood together against the Cartel of the Northeast.
Chip Roy, a Texan Republican congressman, introduced a bill in 2019 to list these cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
President Donald Trump also said he wanted to designate the cartels as terrorists.
However, the plans to do so were delayed by Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.