Emma Coronel was released early from prison without explanation. It is believed that her detention was a political game or she drowned one of the sons of the drug lord Joaquin Guzmán immediately called her on a date together with their twins
On September 15, the wife of the Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman, known as El Chapo, was released from prison in Los Angeles ahead of schedule without any explanation from the US government.
Emma Coronel was arrested in 2021 on charges of drug distribution. She was sentenced to 3 years in prison after pleading guilty to 3 counts of assisting the Sinaloa drug cartel, including conspiracy to launder money, distribute narcotics and participate in financial transactions.
The Mexican drug lord’s wife also admitted to acting as a courier between Guzmán and other members of the criminal organization while the drug lord was in Mexico’s Altiplano prison following his 2014 arrest.
The judge who handed down her sentence said at the time that Coronel quickly admitted responsibility and
has agreed to forfeit nearly $1.5 million to the US government
from proceeds of her criminal activity. This is probably why her three-year sentence was later reduced.
The main question now is what will happen to her? Will she stay in the US since she also has US citizenship or will she go back to Mexico where it is not known if it is safe for her?
The reason is that shortly before her release, one of El Chapo’s sons, Ovidio, was arrested and is accused of distributing fentanyl in the United States. There is a suggestion that Coronel gave something to the police about him and that is why she was released early. If that’s the case, she won’t be protected in Mexico at all.
Meanwhile, as early as last month, El Chapo had sent a handwritten letter to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, asking them to allow
his wife and their two twin daughters to visit him
in a maximum security prison in Colorado. In it, he also wrote that “his daughters are now 12 years old, studying in Mexico and can only travel to visit their father during the holidays, two or three times a year at most.”
The drug lord was detained in 2016, after a year earlier he had escaped for the second time from a prison in Mexico. In January 2017, he was extradited to the United States, where he was found guilty of 10 charges, including participation in a criminal group, drug and firearms trafficking. He was sentenced to life in prison and had to pay a fine of $12.6 billion.
Because of his two escapes from Mexican prisons, he was isolated in his cell and only allowed to see his lawyers and daughters.
They did not even allow his wife to visit him
However, Emma Coronel attended the entire trial against him in New York and supported him. The investigation against him had shown that his criminal organization brought more than 1,000 tons of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines and heroin into the United States.
The FBI had continued to monitor members of the cartel, and so in 2019, his wife’s name was linked to potential criminal activities for the first time. Then one of Guzmán’s top lieutenants, Damaso López, testified against him. Lopez detailed how Coronel and Guzmán’s sons ran the drug business and orchestrated his escape from Puente Grande prison in 2015. He said Emma Coronel paid millions of dollars in bribes after his arrest in 2016 in an attempt to arrange a third escape before his eventual extradition to the United States. In the criminal complaint, Anonymous Witness 1 shared information identical to that of Lopez.
Some experts believe that Emma Coronel was never a leading force in the cartel, but rather was involved in the business because of her romantic relationship with El Chapo.
“Her detention was not very well received in Sinaloa because she is a mother and was in one way or another an indirect victim of the whole process of her husband,” explained Dr. Juan Carlos Ayala Baron, professor of narcoculture and identity at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa. – Even then, her arrest was very suspicious. Some of us think that
it could be a political game or related to the authorities in the United States.”
When Coronel was taken into custody, it became clear that she was the main intermediary between the drug lord and Sinaloa members while Guzmán was in prison in Mexico. Therefore, it is now believed that she may re-enter this role and remain in the US, from where she can control the distribution of the drug market.
On the other hand, her arrest in 2021 could indeed be considered a political game because security relations between Mexico and the US were strained then. The reason was the public detention of former top military general Salvador Cienfuegos on drug-trafficking charges in October 2020. The Mexican government is believed to have applied pressure to have the general extradited back to Mexico to face trial in his homeland.
Speculations around her then abounded. According to some, she may have turned herself in, and according to others, she turned to the American authorities for help and security because she began to fear for her life and that of her daughters. The reason for these rumors is that the sentence she received was too light for the severity of the charges to which she pleaded guilty. According to the laws in the USA, he should have spent at least 14 years behind bars.
There was also speculation at the time that Coronel’s arrest might be related to the investigation of Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s former public security chief, who was also awaiting trial in the US on charges that he took bribes from the Sinaloa cartel. So Bonnie Clapper, a lawyer for women accused of drug possession, had suggested that the government of
The US will not be able to prove that Coronel was one of the leaders in the cartel
“She did things that facilitated her husband’s business,” Klapper explains. “She was probably moving money around.” She was involved in financial transactions to hide the millions of dollars. As it turned out, she was not actively involved in the drug trade itself. She now has a second chance at life and is very lucky to be a US citizen and able to stay here with her children. Most women in her situation end up being deported back to their country and subjected to the same terrible conditions that drove them to become traffickers.”
In fact, it was precisely because of the unprecedented poverty that the families of Emma and Guzmán began to deal with the distribution of drugs. And just like in the movies, Coronel married El Chapo when she was only 18. She is 32 years younger than him.
The two grew up in Sinaloa province, which is a key drug center. They met for the first time at a beauty contest in which Emma participated.
Her father, Ines Coronel, as well as her brother were high-ranking members of the Sinaloa cartel. Her father is currently serving a 10-year sentence in Mexico for smuggling cocaine and heroin.
El Chapo and Emma got married, but it is unclear if their marriage was ever officially registered by the Mexican authorities. She became pregnant with twins from him and gave birth to them in the US so they could have dual citizenship like her. It is considered that
since she was a child she has always stayed away from the drug business unlike her husband.
Joaquin Guzmán had admitted to American actor Sean Penn in a secret interview in 2015 that he grew up extremely poor. “The only way I had money, to buy food, to survive, was to look at opium poppy and marijuana, so I started growing and selling,” El Chapo told Sean Penn.
Subsequently, the boss of the “Guadalajara” cartel, Miguel Ángel Felice Gayardo, considered the godfather of modern Mexican cartels, recruited him and Guzmán became one of his subordinates. After the arrest of Gayardo in 1989, Guzmán together with three associates founded the “Sinaloa” cartel, which in a few years became an empire with branches in Europe, Asia and North America.
“I deliver more heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine and marijuana than anyone in the world. I have fleets of submarines, planes, trucks and ships,” he boasted in the interview. Because of the accumulated wealth of the cartel, for some time he entered the list of the magazine “Forbes” of the richest people in the world, but he dropped out of it in 2013 due to the high costs of lawyers.
However, until her arrest, Emma Coronel had her husband’s billions at her disposal.
She always dressed impeccably and even created her own
a fashion line with her husband’s initials JGL – Joaquin Guzmán Loera
“My goal is to promote my fashion style and that of my husband,” the former beauty queen announced on Instagram a few years ago. Coronel had already made an impression with her figure-hugging outfits during her husband’s trial. Meanwhile, she also appeared as an influencer and enjoyed 500 thousand followers on Instagram.
The question now is whether she has the chance to live a second life, or the fact that she is the wife of the biggest drug lord leaves her no choice but to get back into the drug game.