The wife of the Mexican drug cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is arrested. Emma Coronel was also in the drug business.
WASHINGTON ap | The wife of the Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has been arrested in the USA. Emma Coronel Aispuro was arrested on Monday at Washington Dulles Airport in Virginia state on allegations of international drug trafficking, the US Department of Justice announced.
The 31-year-old has both Mexican and US citizenship. On Tuesday she will appear virtually in front of a federal court in Washington. Coronel is accused of helping her now-imprisoned husband run his multi-billion dollar drug cartel. She is said to have participated in a plot to smuggle cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana into the United States, it was said.
In addition, Coronel concocted Guzmán’s spectacular escape from a Mexican prison in 2015. The course of the outbreak enjoys a dubious legendary status: Guzmán piled through an opening under his shower in the cell and then reached the Altiplano via a 1.6-kilometer tunnel, which was specially equipped for him with a motorcycle on rails Freedom.
The preparations for his escape were not only meticulous, but also expensive, said prosecutors. And his wife played a key role in all of this. She is said to have worked with Guzmán’s sons and a witness who is now cooperating with the US authorities. It was about threading the tunnel construction. Part of the plan was the purchase of land near the detention center, as well as weapons and an armored truck. Guzmán’s henchmen had also leaked a navigation clock to him “to determine his exact location and thus construct the tunnel with an entry point that was accessible to him,” it said in the files.
After he later went back to the police network, his wife is said to have been involved in “planning another prison break,” as the Justice Department announced. At the same time, she is said to have urged the Mexican government to improve the conditions in prison for her husband.
Guzmán was extradited to the United States in January 2017, where he was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2019. A jury found the now 63-year-old guilty of all ten charges in one of the largest drug trials in US history – including involvement in a criminal organization, the production and international distribution of cocaine and heroin, as well as money laundering and the use of firearms. He is in a maximum security prison in the mountainous desert of the US state Colorado. Coronel had visited his trial regularly.
After his conviction, Coronel started a clothing line on his behalf. In her youth she was active as a beauty queen. She is said to have been together with Guzmán, who is more than 30 years her senior, since at least 2007; the two have twin daughters born in 2011. Coronel’s father Inés Coronel Barreras is also involved in drug trafficking. In 2013, he, one of his sons, and other men were arrested in a warehouse with large quantities of marijuana. Months earlier, the US Treasury Department had imposed sanctions on Coronel’s father for his drug deals.
Guzmán’s Sinaloa cartel was responsible for smuggling mountains of cocaine and other drugs into the United States during its 25-year rule, according to recent prosecutorial records. Accordingly, his “army of killers” had orders to kidnap, torture and murder any person who got in his way and his gang.
Guzman’s wife has been involved in drug trafficking “since she was a little girl,” said Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations at the US anti-drug law enforcement agency. “She knows the inner workings of the Sinaloa cartel.” It could be that Coronel would agree to cooperate with the authorities, adds Vigil. Her twins are a great motivation for this.