Saturday, 19 October, 2019

Mexican mobster's ex-lover: Chapo turned me into drug smuggler

Hector Vivas  Getty Images Hector Vivas Getty Images
Pablo Mccormick | 20 January, 2019, 17:31

Guzman, 61, was extradited to the USA in 2017 to face charges of trafficking cocaine, heroin and other drugs into the country as leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. He says he's being framed by shady cooperators.

Sanchez, 29, a former local politician from Guzman's home state of Sinaloa, took the witness stand in jail smocks after pleading guilty earlier this year to drug charges following her arrest last year.

That prompted Guzman's wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, who has sat impassively in the courtroom and attended almost every day of the proceedings, to laugh.

Emma Coronel Aispuro, center, leaves Brooklyn federal court in NY, after attending the trial of her husband Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, on January 17, 2019.

She also recalled an occasion when Guzman's secretary walked in as they were eating and told them an associate named Tio Virgo was dead - which she took to mean Chapo had ordered him killed. Over time, they began mixing business with pleasure that caused her distress, she said.

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In response, Sanchez, 29, insisted she was "not doing anything bad" and gushed about how much she loved him - but while testifying Thursday, she said she was "feeling threatened" and was anxious "he could actually hurt me".

The prosecution said Sanchez and Guzman discussed her marijuana transactions through encrypted messages and referred to each other as "Lovely" or "M" in text messages they exchanged on Blackberries that they switched out every few weeks.

Accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is seen with a handgun on display during a testimony by Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent Victor Vazquez (not shown) in this courtroom sketch in Brooklyn federal court in New York City on January 17, 2019.

Sanchez Lopez said she first met Guzman in 2010, and became his lover in 2011, when she was just 22. "I thought he could hurt me".

Guzman was recaptured in 2016 and sent to the U.S.to face drug-trafficking charges carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison. She went along and was spending the night with him when there was a commotion outside as one of his assistants blurted, "They're on us".

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Eventually, the camera moves into El Chapo's bathroom and the bathtub can be seen lifted upwards revealing a secret tunnel in its base.

A Colombian drug trafficker testified Tuesday that Mexican cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman once boasted about paying a USD$100 million ($138 million AUD) bribe to the former president of Mexico. When a prosecutor asked her how long she was there, she guessed more than an hour - "enough to traumatize me".

She said she told Guzman that she enjoyed the drug trafficking work.

"Is it him? Is it him?"

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