El Chapo grew from living in poverty in rural Mexico to become the controller of a worldwide drug empire and garner billions of dollars from the business. He is the former an international crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel and currently facing 17 federal charges in the United States of America.
He is said to have led a drug trafficking organization which trafficked not less than 1.8 million pounds worth of cocaine into the US and several other nations between 2003 and 2014 while his hit men killed hundreds of people and carried out numerous assaults, torture, and kidnappings within the time.
Who Is El Chapo?
Born as Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera on 4th April 1957, in La Tuna, Badiraguato, Sinaloa, Mexico, the drug kingpin is the son of Emilio Guzmán Bustillos and María Consuelo Loera Pérez. His father, officially a cattle rancher, also grew marijuana for local dealers. It was through his father that Guzman got into the drug business as he helped him in his marijuana business during the early stage of his adult life.
Towards the end of the 1970s, Guzman started working with one of Mexico’s then rising drug lords named Héctor Luis Palma Salazar, helping him discover safe roads through which he can smuggle drugs from Sinaloa into the US.
He later established his own cartel, known as Sinaloa Cartel, in 1988 after the arrest of his second employer, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo. As the one at the helm of the cartel’s affairs, he supervised the mass production, smuggling, and distribution of cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana, and heroin all over the US and Europe.
Guzman is considered to be the highest exporter of drugs in the US in the history of drug trafficking and this was made possible because he created distribution cells in the US and also built long-range tunnels close to borders. As a result of the business, the drug lord became extremely powerful and wealthy and was even named among Forbes most powerful men in the world from 2009 to 2013.
Following his drug trafficking activities in Mexico and a murder case hanging on his neck, Guzman fled to Guatemala but was later captured for the first time in 1993 and extradited. This was followed by a 20 years jail sentence for the charges. However, before completing his time in prison, he escaped in 2001 but was later nabbed in Mexico in 2014. In 2015, he escaped again through a tunnel 33 feet under his jail cell.
The notorious drug baron was eventually captured in 2015 and was extradited to the United States the following year where although he pleaded not guilty to a series of criminal charges, was found guilty of them.
Is He Dead Or Still Alive?
After his escape from prison in 2015, El Chapo was recaptured on the 8th of January 2016 and was subsequently extradited to the United States on 19 January 2017, to face the 17-count charges against him. These charges include drug trafficking money laundering, homicide, illegal possession of firearms, kidnapping, murder among many others. His extradition was on the condition that he would not be sentenced to death if he is found guilty of homicide charges.
In the US, the notorious drug baron is alive and locked away at the maximum-security section of the Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York, Manhattan. On November 13, 2017, opening arguments commenced with the closing argument taking place on 31 January 2019. On the 12th of February 2019, El Chapo was found guilty of all the charges against him. He is most likely going to be spending the rest of his life in prison post-sentencing on 25 June 2019.
The former Sinaloa Cartel boss is married to Emma Coronel Aispuro who is said to be his fourth wife. Daughter of homemaker Blanca Estela Aispuro and farmer Ines Aispuro Barreras, Emma was born on the 2nd of July 1989 in San Francisco, California.
The love story of El Chapo and Emma began during a party which took place in 2006 in the hamlet of La Angostura, Durango, Mexico. Emma had a boyfriend then and was dancing with him at the party when someone told her that El Chapo wanted to dance with her so she obliged.
Some months after their first meeting, Emma who was 17 years old at the time, decided to participate in the 2007 Coffee and Guava Festival beauty pageant in Canelas. One of the requirements of the competition was that each of the contestants would host a party in honor of their candidacy and Emma hosted hers on Three Kings Day. That very day, the drug lord stormed the town, accompanied by hundreds of guards, to make his intention of getting married to Emma known.
Although Emma told the Los Angeles Times, that she eventually won the beauty contest because she earned many votes in her own right, many reports had it that El Chapo had to sprinkle the judges with some cash to announce Emma as the winner.
The then 40 years old Guzman later tied the knot with Emma at her family home on July 2, 2007, which was also the day she turned 18. After their marriage, the beauty queen relocated to her husband’s base of operations in Culiacan. She finished her high school education there and moved on the university to study journalism.
Even though the couple’s wedding was well attended by local drug lords, Emma Aispuro claims to be ignorant of the fact that her husband was involved in any shady deal when she married him.
A report by the New York Post revealed that Emma’s family also had connections with the Sinaloa Cartel. Her father, popularly known as “the Father-in-Law” in the cartel was said to be one of El Chapo’s right-hand men. In 2013, both her father and her brother, Ines Omar Coronel Aispuro, were arrested for coordinating the shipment of drugs for the cartel from Mexico through Arizona. In August 2015, Edgar, Emma’s youngest brother, was also arrested for helping Guzman escape from a maximum-security prison on 11 July 2015.
During an interview with Telemundo in 2018, the beauty queen reiterated that she has never seen her husband doing anything unlawful, blaming his notoriety on the media.
The former Mexican drug lord is said to have fathered 19 children, including Emma’s twin daughters named Emaly and Maria Joaquina who she gave birth to in 2011. The girls were born in Lancaster, following El Chapo’s arrangement to ensure that they were birthed on American soil.
El Chapo’s first marriage to Alejandrina María Salazar Hernández produced not less than three children, including César, Iván Archivaldo, and Jesús Alfredo. He also had four more children – Édgar, Joaquín, Ovidio, and Griselda Guadalupe – with his third wife named Griselda López Pérez.
All his children are said to be part of the drug business and apart from the ones mentioned above, he also had some kids outside wedlock.
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Considered to have been the world’s most powerful drug trafficker, Guzman was given the nickname “El Chapo” which means shorty in Spanish as a result of his 168 cm (5 feet 6 inches) height. He weighs 91 kg (201 lb).