Posted: Sunday, September 17, 2023. 3:14 pm CST.
By Horace Palacio: As reported by the BBC, Emma Coronel, wife of the infamous drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, has been released from prison in the United States. Coronel had previously admitted to drug trafficking offenses and was initially sentenced to a three-year imprisonment term in November 2021, a duration that was eventually diminished. The Federal Bureau of Prisons verified her release.
Having previously been relocated from a federal prison to a halfway house in California in June, the 34-year-old Coronel is believed to have exited from this facility. Meanwhile, her spouse, “El Chapo” Guzmán, is currently incarcerated in a Colorado supermax prison, serving a life sentence.
In a recent handwritten letter, Guzmán, 66, requested that his wife and their twin daughters be permitted to visit him in the high-security facility. In 2019, Guzmán was convicted for supervising the Sinaloa cartel, a transnational crime syndicate from Mexico. US law enforcement agencies believe this cartel to be responsible for smuggling over 1,000 tonnes of narcotics such as cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, and heroin into the United States.
With its hitmen known for kidnapping, torturing, and assassinating rivals, the Sinaloa cartel solidified its dominance. Furthermore, it systematically bribed police personnel and influential politicians across Mexico and Central America, ensuring these authorities either overlooked drug consignments or warned the cartel about impending operations.
The relationship between Coronel and Guzmán dates back to when she was 17, during her participation in a regional beauty contest. Her father, Inés Coronel, an important figure in the Sinaloa cartel, is serving a decade-long sentence in Mexico for drug trafficking.
Emma Coronel, possessing both US and Mexican citizenships, relocated to California in 2011 to deliver the couple’s twin girls, granting them American nationality. In a significant trial, she was said to have been instrumental in aiding her husband’s 2015 jailbreak.
Following Guzmán’s 2015 tunnel escape, he avoided capture for half a year, until his arrest outside Los Mochis, Sinaloa. He was later extradited to the US for trial in New York, where Coronel was a constant presence, portraying her spouse in a positive light despite damning testimonies.
After Guzmán’s conviction in 2019, Coronel remained at liberty until her apprehension near Washington DC in February 2021. Charged with being fully knowledgeable about her husband’s illicit operations, she pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering. With her sentence reduced, her release was made possible.
Although her next steps remain uncertain, Guzmán’s letter indicates she might visit him in Colorado. The twins, now aged 12, are believed to be studying in Mexico, limiting their visits to their father.
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