The mother to Guzman’s seven-year-olds twin daughters allegedly once helped him break out of prison in Mexico. Picture: Kena Betancur / AFP
The mother to Guzman’s seven-year-olds twin daughters allegedly once helped him break out of prison in Mexico. Picture: Kena Betancur / AFP

El Chapo’s beauty queen wife speaks

El Chapo's beauty queen wife said her husband "likes" his notoriety and she believes it could work to his advantage, in her first public interview in years.

The glamorous Emma Coronel Aispuro, 29, said media pressure was important "for the world to see how it really is", as she attends the drug kingpin's trial almost daily in New York City.

Ms Coronel, daughter of a senior member of the Sinaloa cartel, has been unable to hug or speak with husband Joaquin Guzman since he was extradited from Mexico in January 2017.

The 61-year-old cartel leader is facing 17 charges of trafficking $19 billion of cocaine into the US.

El Chapo (meaning "shorty" in Spanish) has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, claiming he was a scapegoat for the cartel, as well as Mexican and US officials who are desperate to convict the infamous drug lord.

 

El Chapo’s wife Emma Coronel Aispuro has been faithfully attending the Mexican drug kingpin’s massive trial at a New York court. Picture: AP Photo/Seth Wenig
El Chapo’s wife Emma Coronel Aispuro has been faithfully attending the Mexican drug kingpin’s massive trial at a New York court. Picture: AP Photo/Seth Wenig

 

But in her first interview in two years, Ms Coronel told Spanish-language TV network Noticias Telemundo her husband didn't mind the attention. "You have to be honest, I think he did like it, he does like it a little," she said with a smile.

"He says it's like there should be media pressure so everything can be clearer. So they can see it and they can see what really happens.

"That's what he really wants, for everyone to realise how things really are, and see it all from another perspective, so everything is clear."

On Monday, former cartel member Tirso Martinez Sanchez told Brooklyn Federal Court that El Chapo ran a "cocaine train" from Mexico to New York. Sanchez said he was placed in charge of the railway operation after one predecessor shot himself in the face and another died on the operating table during plastic surgery.

Tankers would bring cooking oil into Mexico, the oil would be siphoned out and secret compartments on both ends would be stacked with cocaine, Sanchez said. He claimed the trains made around $500 million to $800 million for cartel from selling the drug in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles between 2000 and 2003.

 

El Chapo, meaning ‘shorty’ in Spanish, could face life in prison if he is convicted on 17 charges of trafficking $19 billion of cocaine into the US. Picture: Reuters/Henry Romero/File Photo
El Chapo, meaning ‘shorty’ in Spanish, could face life in prison if he is convicted on 17 charges of trafficking $19 billion of cocaine into the US. Picture: Reuters/Henry Romero/File Photo

 

 

Guzman reportedly helped Ms Coronel win a pageant when she was 17.
Guzman reportedly helped Ms Coronel win a pageant when she was 17.

 

She married the narco boss when she was 18 years old.
She married the narco boss when she was 18 years old.

 

The court has already heard about Guzman's love of trains from a former lieutenant, who said he used one to transport his personal zoo from place to place.

He also allegedly had a "cocaine submarine" for transporting the narcotic.

El Chapo has been described by prosecutors as the biggest narco boss since Pablo Escobar, a ruthless criminal who laundered billions in illicit profits and was responsible for kidnappings and the murders of thousands of people.

The diminutive Sinaloa cartel leader has been hyper alert during the trial - which began in November and will last several months - craning his neck to stare at his former criminal associates, making notes and chatting to his lawyers. His defence lawyers say the informants are liars, murderers and criminals who want to save themselves from jail.

Ms Coronel, who El Chapo helped win a beauty pageant when she was 17, said listening to the government witnesses was hard at times. "Of course, sometimes I'll be bothered, like any other person, you know?" she told Telemundo. "For them to be saying things about a person when you know the other side. So I try to be, I try not to - how do I explain this? - I try to just listen and let things go.

"It's going to keep happening and I'll be OK. I know the truth. To not focus on negative comments or anything when I know it's not true."

 

Former cartels members told Brooklyn Federal Court Guzman used planes, trains and a ‘cocaine submarine’ to traffick tons of the drug.
Former cartels members told Brooklyn Federal Court Guzman used planes, trains and a ‘cocaine submarine’ to traffick tons of the drug.

 

Ms Coronel was the subject of a courtroom scandal when she was found with a forbidden phone, which the prosecution feared she could be using to communicate with her husband.
Ms Coronel was the subject of a courtroom scandal when she was found with a forbidden phone, which the prosecution feared she could be using to communicate with her husband.

 

The drug baron's wife was at the centre of a controversy late last month after she was found with a forbidden mobile phone in the courtroom. Prosecutors feared she could be communicating with her husband, or filming a protected witness whose identity they have striven to keep hidden.

But the judge accepted that the mother of Guzman's seven-year-old twin daughters Maria Joaquina and Emely had only been using it for Google Translate to help her follow proceedings.

Ms Coronel, who married El Chapo on her 18th birthday, is alleged to have helped the cocaine trafficker in an audacious escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.

She allegedly met him at the entrance of a tunnel he had dug from his cell to the outside world, and they went on the run together until his rearrest six months later after a nationwide manhunt.

His first breakout from a maximum-security prison came in 2001, when he allegedly bribed guards to sneak him out in a laundry cart.

Guzman could face life in prison if he is convicted, but Ms Coronel doesn't like to think about that. "I prefer to keep my mind concentrated on that everything will be fine for him and for us," she said.

"(I want) to be calm, to be somewhere in the world where we can be at ease … I don't dream of big things. Tranquillity, happiness, nothing out of the ordinary."

That's not typically the life that seems to follow El Chapo.

The trial continues.



Light Horse honoured

premium_icon Light Horse honoured

Parade recognises those affected by consequences of bravery

TEAMWORK: Top skill to win

premium_icon TEAMWORK: Top skill to win

Annual regatta: Dragon boat racers swam Shaws Bay

Home lost in fire ground: 200 hectares burnt

premium_icon Home lost in fire ground: 200 hectares burnt

Fire fighters are still working to contain the fire