Amparo led a life as the undisputed crime boss of El Paso, and was even considered by many in town to be merely an urban legend. Always enterprising, she took the cataclysmic events of Infinite Crisis and Day of Vengeance as an impetus to focus on the magic aspect of supercrime. Amongst other things, she began picking up youths with extraordinary abilities, whom no one would notice if they went missing, to build her very own personal magical army.
As La Dama, it was easy for her to arrange for an “accident” to befell her brother-in-law after it was revealed he was abusing his daughter and her beloved niece, Brenda del Vecchio. The now-orphaned Brenda would come live with her, and for a while, La Dama was able to hide her activities, both criminal and mystical, from Brenda.
That is, until El Paso’s new superhero, Blue Beetle, turned out to be none other than one of Brenda’s best friends, Jaime Reyes. Amparo put two and two together quickly enough, but Jaime was able to keep her in check by threatening to tell Brenda that Amparo was La Dama. This worked right up until Giganta attacked the Cardenas household.
Furious and hurt that her beloved aunt was a crime boss, Brenda moved in with the Reyeses for a while. However, she and Amparo reached a tentative truce when the latter showed up with her underlings to help Jaime, Brenda, and co. fight off an alien invasion from the Reach.
There aren’t many women of color as crime bosses in comics, and La Dama is a brilliant one. She is able to save face during her initial confrontation with Blue Beetle and the Posse, a local magic gang, in a way that makes her look like a benign, understanding host, and Jaime and his friends like paranoid, violent kids. She has tech no one else does, and bad enough to make Checkmate, a UN-based organization, take note of her. She is even also able to figure out the secret identity of Blue Beetle.
Despite being a, let’s face it, villain, she becomes a sympathetic figure due to her genuine love for Brenda. Amparo clearly loves her niece like a daughter, and even downshifts her illegal activities for her.