This is how “El Chapo’s” wife lives a life of luxury
The authorities have deprived the drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman of his freedom. But they have not had access to his fortune.
So his 29-year-old wife Emma Coronel lives a life of luxury.
Which she likes to show off on social media.
The trial of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord began this week in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. It is in New York that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been locked up in an isolation cell since last January.
Emma Coronel was there this week. Just as she has often been in the past when negotiations have been held.
It is her only chance to see her husband. She is 29 years old, he is 61.
She is hard to miss for anyone who comes to the courtroom. A dark-haired former beauty queen, who likes to come dressed in expensive designer clothes and with a Prada handbag over her shoulder.
“El Chapo” – that’s Spanish for “The Short One”, he is only 1.64 tall – had hoped to at least hug her when the trial began, but Judge Brian Cogan denied the request.
May not meet
The motive is the same as the reason why she is not allowed to visit her husband in the cell and for over a year was not even allowed to talk to him on the phone. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has escaped from two Mexican prisons. Who knows what plans he is making with his wife?
She herself has previously expressed concern for his physical and mental well-being:
– My biggest concern is that he feels very bad mentally. He is unwell, his lawyers tell me that, she said last spring after one of the negotiations.
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has led the Mexican Sinaloa cartel since the 1980s. Sinaloa is one of the most powerful drug cartels and controls a lot of the smuggling and trade of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana across the border to the United States.
That is a lot of money. Forbes has included “El Chapo” on the list of the world’s richest people, personally good for a fortune of an estimated one billion dollars, over eight billion kroner.
Can keep spending
Sinaloa is believed to have assets worth $14 billion, money that US authorities would like to access. But in vain.
– There is no political will in Mexico to seize the assets of “El Chapo” or any of the other drug lords in the country, says a DEA source to the New York Post. The DEA is the US federal drug enforcement agency.https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn1NtaSAdXm/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
So Emma Coronel can keep spending. And she’s happy to do that. In September, the couple’s twin daughters – Emily and Maria – turned seven. Mom celebrated with a spectacular birthday party at home in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa province.
The daughters apparently like Barbie. Because that was the theme. And everything went in pink, from the balloon vaults to the custom-built party room.
– The whole story is surreal, says the DEA source.
– She can go around bragging about her wealth in front of everyone.
“El Chapo” has a lot of local followers in Mexico. So Emma Coronel is getting positive shout-outs on her social media accounts. But there is also criticism. This is how a Spanish-speaking user comments on one of the pictures from the Barbie party.
“You know this wouldn’t have been possible without who knows how many victims and tortured in Mexico, right?”
And so it is. “El Chapo” is believed to be responsible for thousands of deaths. He is indicted in the United States on 17 counts, including drug trafficking and money laundering. He faces life in prison.
He himself has lost close relatives in the bloody drug wars. One of his sons, Edgar Guzman Lopez, was gunned down in the parking lot outside a shopping mall in Culiacan in 2008. Police later found 500 shell casings.
Emma Coronel is not the drug lord’s first wife, far from it. He has been married three times before and has more grown children, some of the sons themselves deeply involved in the Sinaloa cartel.
Incidentally, it is also his father-in-law, Emma Coronel’s father, Inés Coronel Barreras. So no, we probably shouldn’t trust Emma’s answer when the television company Telemundo asked her if she knew what “El Chapo” was doing when she married him:
– The fact is, I am not convinced that he is engaged in drug dealing. He acts like a normal person.
Arrived by private plane
They met for the first time at a party when she was only 17 years old. A few months later, she entered a local beauty pageant and organized a big party on the occasion.
“El Chapo” arrived in a private plane at the local airport and came to the party surrounded by armed men. During the party, Emma Coronel announced that the two would marry in July of that year when she turned 18.
Incidentally, she won the beauty contest a few weeks later. Of course.
– It was his way of talking to me, of treating me that made me fall for him, she said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times last year.
– He is like any other man. He is, of course, not violent, not impolite. I never heard him say a bad word.
Emma Coronel herself is an American citizen because she was born there. It was also why she traveled to Los Angeles in 2011 to give birth to the couple’s twin daughters. It thus automatically became American citizens.
But the years with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman have also meant years on the run and years of separation. Guzman was on the run when they met and he was recaptured in 2014. He escaped six months later via a tunnel dug literally to his prison cell.
The tunnel was over two kilometers long and provided rails where he could use a rail-bound motorcycle. The tunnel ended at a construction site and Emma Coronel was waiting nearby.
It was, among other things, with bribes that he carried out the escape. That trick will be much more difficult to pull off in the US. But the money can still give their wife Emma a life of Gucci and Prada.
However, they will never get life together again.