Belén took the Miss Latina Wisconsin 2015 crown after the rest of the potential candidates bowed out as the event approached for Mother’s Day.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
May 11, 2015
Milwaukee, WI – On Monday, Manuel Gaona, 37, the organizer of the Miss Latina Wisconsin 2015 confirmed to Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) that Belén Duran, 23, of Milwaukee (originally from Camargo, Chihuahua, Mexico) was crowned by default on Saturday after the other potential candidates bowed out from the popular pageant as the event approached for Mother’s Day at the Wherehouse Nightclub on Sunday. Duran stated to HNNUSA, “I will proudly serve and represent our Latino community honoribly.”
Duran a former student from MATC remained committed to the pageant and on Saturday, Gaona met with Kennia Coronado, Miss Latina Wisconsin 2014 who was ready to pass on her crown this year to another participant. He decided to crown Duran as the new Miss Latina Wisconsin 2015 for her ability to fulfill her agreement to participate, for being a dedicated worker who cares and wanting to represent the pageant in the Latino community, according to Gaona. The pageant at the Wherehouse on Sunday did not take place, since Duran was the only candidate left to participate.
Gaona’s decision to crown Duran did not go well with former participants and former Miss Latina Wisconsin 2013, Tania Alvarez who Gaona alleged is behind a anonymous Facebook page account “La voz” created to assassinate his character and the credibility of Miss Latina Wisconsin Pageant. According to La voz in FB (LVFB), it alleged that Gaona committed fraud, which he denies and LVFB failed to provide any credible evidence, it accused Gaona of a prior criminal history by citing CCAP (court records), but Gaona says he has been divorced and many of the other registered cases with a similar name is not him.
HNNUSA attempted to contact Alvarez concerning the allegations made by Gaona, but was unsuccessful. Alvarez was allegedly decrowned (crown removed) in 2013 for engaging in unauthorized activity during her reign as Miss Latina Wisconsin. Gaona confirmed that Alvarez was charging for her public appearances at certain events while representing Miss Latina Wisconsin in 2013. Miss Latina Wisconsin does not charge to be present at local events, according to Gaona from Producciones Gaona.
Gaona says that he is looking into the possibility of taking legal action against Alvarez and others implicated in the LVFB anonymous page created to personally attack him and engage in defamation of his character, including the Miss Latina Wisconsin Pageant.
(Update) Tania Alvarez, 20, the former Miss Latina Wisconsin 2013 had two Facebook accounts until Tuesday, one with a picture of her wearing the Miss Latina Wisconsin 2013 crown and a personal one, she immediately disabled one on Tuesday. When contacted by HNNUSA about the FB account showing her wearing the crown, she wouldn’t deny or admit it was her account, but moments later that account was disabled.
But, Alvarez on Tuesday posted on her personal FB page, “It is funny when you cant man up to your own problems you point fingers at other people, that dont even have anything to do with it. I did not make the voz page. Slandering my name on this article and lying and saying that I was “decrowned” when I have full evidence that I never was “decrowned” just shows that all the things said about you are true. Sad.”
The Alvarez FB conversation is then continued with another former Miss Latina Wisconsin 2012, Stephanie Lozano. HNNUSA has attached Alvarez postings, since she was reluctant to comment and HNNUSA is posting her would be side of the story over the FB page La voz targeted at Manuel Gaona, from Producciones Gaona and organizer for Miss Latina Wisconsin 2015.
The only winner in this case is Belén Duran who by default (having no competition by no fault of her own) was crowned as Miss Latina Wisconsin 2015 by Gaona. Duran was the best choice given the circumstances, according to Gaona.
Gaona Producciones released the following letter dated January 25, 2014 that was sent via Express Mail to Tania Alvarez, Miss Latina Wisconsin 2013 notifying her to return the crown and band by January 31, 2014 for reasons mentioned in the letter. Alvarez in her Facebook account page denied that she was decrowned and continues to be reluctant to comment. She threaten to file legal action against Gaona Producciones for falsely claiming she was decrowned. (Click on image to enlarge)