“Like a soap opera”: the glamorous life of the detained woman of El Chapo

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MEXICO CITY – The drug trafficking arrest of Emma Coronel Aispuro, former beauty queen and wife of jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, follows a telenovela-like life that has straddled Mexican cartels hyper -violent, fame and motherhood.
Coronel, 31, married Young in Infamy and had a front row seat for Guzman’s high-stakes cat-and-mouse game with Mexican and American agents to hunt him down.

A double Mexican-American national, Coronel was arrested Monday at Dulles International Airport and is scheduled to appear in court in the United States District of Columbia on Tuesday, charged with distributing cocaine, heroin and other drugs.

Coronel caught the attention of Guzman, who is more than three decades her senior, when she was a teenage beauty queen.

They married after turning 18 in 2007 and had twin daughters, spending their entire married life with Guzman in prison or on the run as the leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel. Guzman is serving a life sentence in a US prison.

Coronel’s fame exploded during Guzman’s 2019 trial in New York City, where she became a media sensation with her designer outfits and the loyalty she showed to her husband – even as prosecutors detailed how he kept a series of lovers.

She even became a key figure in the court drama when a former lieutenant of alleged Coronel de Guzman played a central role in her husband’s Hollywood prison escape through a mile-long tunnel dug under the shower of his prison cell in 2015.

Building on her husband’s fame and seeking to capitalize on his fame outside of Mexico, Coronel launched a clothing brand in the United States in 2019 and even appeared on an American reality show about Mafia Families.

“I consider myself to be a normal woman,” Coronel said on VH1’s Cartel Crew show, speaking on board a yacht.

“It’s sad that they judge us without knowing us. It’s hard. ”

In interviews with the media, Coronel highlighted his enduring loyalty to Guzman and his focus on educating their twin daughters.

“Emma is like the old narco families of Sinaloa,” a former acquaintance told Reuters.

‘LOVE STORY’

Steeped in the narco tradition from an early age, Coronel was raised in the mountains of Durango, part of the “Golden Triangle” of drug trafficking states in Mexico, which includes Sinaloa. Her father was jailed for drug trafficking in 2017.

Coronel first made headlines in Mexico following her 2007 church wedding in the Durango countryside to Guzman, who at the time was on the run from authorities.

Coronel is said to be by Guzman’s side in several near misses as Mexican police and US agents follow him.

During Guzman’s trial, his former right-hand man, Damaso Lopez Nuñez, testified how Coronel, along with Guzman’s sons, helped orchestrate the daring prison escape of 2015.

They obtained a plot of land near the prison, arranged weapons, brought an armored truck, and even smuggled a GPS wristwatch into Guzman’s cell so that the tunnel engineers had the exact coordinates of Guzman’s cell. prison to help them dig, according to testimony.

Guzman was captured again in 2016 and extradited to the United States in 2017.

At Guzman’s trial, every time he entered the courthouse, he looked for Coronel and waved to him. They couldn’t talk to each other but their looks caught the attention of the media.

“It was like a love story in complete silence since she was not allowed to say anything,” said journalist Miguel Angel Vega of the Riodoce newspaper in Sinaloa who covered the trial.

“It’s quite interesting to see what happens in this new case,” said Vega. “It’s like a soap opera. ”

(Additional reporting by Frank Jack Daniel and Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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