If the US Attorney’s Office had its way, Emma Coronel (32) would burn in prison for four years. Because she helped with the Sinaloa drug cartel.
The wife of the jailed Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán (64) has to appear in a court in Washington DC on Tuesday, reports the Reuters news agency. The charges are trafficking in illegal drugs, money laundering and financial support for the Sinaola drug cartel.
The Chapo wife pleaded guilty to three counts. The federal prosecutor also wants to request the district judge to collect $ 1.5 million from Coronel. She was arrested at an airport near Washington in February.
Coronel knew about internal processes
The US judiciary accuses Coronel of having played a kind of heiress role in the cartel that her husband once led. According to the indictment, she is said to have been very well informed about the inner workings of the cartel and to have been actively involved in drug smuggling.
“The defendant has committed a grave crime against the United States,” the prosecutors write in their indictment. “Given the negative impact drug trafficking has on society and the serious harmful effects of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana, it is important that the court deliver a judgment that discourages others from undermining our rule of law.”
She helped her husband escape
Emma Modesta Coronel Aispuro, as her full name is, was born in the USA and was a beauty queen. She married Guzmán when she was 18 years old and they have twins together. She was arrested at Dulles International Airport near Washington in February. In reaching the settlement with prosecutors, Coronel admitted acting as a courier between Guzmán and other members of the Sinaloa cartel when her husband was incarcerated in Mexico’s Altiplano prison. He sat there in 2014 until his escape in 2015.
His wife is said to have organized communication with assistants so that Guzmán could escape. He broke out in 2015 through an underground tunnel that the members of his cartel had dug up to the shower in his cell.
“El Chapo” was arrested again in January 2016 and extradited to the USA a year later. He was convicted of drug trafficking, organized crime, kidnapping, murder and other charges in February 2019 and was sentenced to life in prison. Today he is sitting in the safest prison in the USA in the state of Colorado.
She is a real “Narcosbarbie”
Emma Coronel became known worldwide through the Netflix series “El Chapo”, which is based on real events and tells the story of Joaquín Guzmán, his cartel and his wife. Coronel is known as “Narcobarbie” – this is how the women are called, with whom the big drug lords (“Narcos”) like to adorn themselves. She posts pictures from her life on Instagram.
Coronel is a citizen of both Mexico and the United States. She grew up in the drug scene in the Mexican city of Culiacan. The city is considered the base of operations for the Sinaloa cartel. Her father, Inés Coronel Barreras, was a high member of the ranks of the cartel.
“El Chapo” is said to be responsible for up to 3,000 murders
Even if the management level in most drug businesses continues to be dominated by men, in Mexico in particular more and more women are taking on operational tasks, writes the “Spiegel” – especially when the men are killed or arrested. As in Coronel’s case, the tradition of drug trafficking is so firmly rooted in many families that the girls are familiar with the rules of the milieu from an early age.
Even if El Chapo is partially revered, the brutality of the business cannot be denied. In the 2019 trial against him in the USA, it came to light that, as the leader of his cocaine empire, he himself carried out, was responsible for or commissioned between 2,000 and 3,000 murders.
Because Emma Coronel, as heiress of his duties, was accused of the same crimes at the beginning, lawyers assumed shortly after her arrest that she could receive up to ten years in prison. Because she pleaded guilty in negotiations with the public prosecutor’s office and is now only treated as a “minor accomplice”, only a four-year prison sentence is required. (ct)