Trial of Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ gets underway


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He additionally instructed US legislation enforcement turned a blind eye to the scenario.

In a tweet, a spokesman for present President Enrique Pena Nieto referred to as the sensational allegation “fully false and defamatory.” A separate tweet by ex-President Felipe Calderon referred to as it “completely false and reckless.”

'False and defamatory:' Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

‘False and defamatory:’ Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.Credit score:AP

Considered one of Zambada’s sons is anticipated to be the primary of a number of authorities cooperators to testify in opposition to Guzman, probably as early as Wednesday.

Guzman, who has been held in solitary confinement since his extradition to america early final 12 months, has pleaded not responsible to costs that he amassed a multi-billion-dollar fortune smuggling tons of cocaine and different medicine in an enormous provide chain that reached properly north of the border.

Regardless of his diminutive stature and nickname which means “Shorty,” Guzman was as soon as a larger-than-life determine in Mexico who has been in comparison with Al Capone and Robin Hood and been the topic of ballads referred to as narcocorridos.

Latex mask in the likeness of El Chapo in Mexico in 2015.

Latex masks within the likeness of El Chapo in Mexico in 2015.Credit score:AP

Among the many highlights of his lore: He was recognized for carrying a gold-plated AK-47, for smuggling cocaine in cans marked as jalapenos and for making shipments utilizing planes with secret touchdown strips in addition to container ships, speedboats and even submarines.

However Guzman is maybe greatest recognized for escaping custody in Mexico, the primary time in 2001 – in keeping with a authorities assertion on the time, by hiding within the backside of a laundry bin. He escaped once more in 2015 by way of a mile-long tunnel dug right into a bathe in his jail cell that he slipped into earlier than fleeing on a motorbike.

In court docket, he appeared in a darkish swimsuit and tie on Tuesday as he listened to Fels describe how he began modestly within the early 1970s by promoting marijuana in Mexico, however constructed his fame by setting up tunnels throughout the Mexico-US border to move marijuana and cocaine so quick that he was “not El Chapo, the quick one.”

As an alternative, he grew to become generally known as “the speedy one.” Earlier than his tunnels, it had taken weeks to maneuver medicine throughout the border to the US.

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is made to face the press as he is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican soldiers.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is made to face the press as he’s escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican troopers.Credit score:Eduardo Verdugo

Earlier than lengthy, Guzman was receiving 10 to 15 planes “filled with cocaine” every day from Colombia at touchdown strips in Mexico for transport to cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, Fels stated.

As his enterprise flourished utilizing the tunnels, trains, planes and vessels, Guzman started taking goal at rivals within the early 1990s, resulting in bloody wars. In 1993, he fled to Guatemala however was captured and imprisoned in Mexico for eight years, the place he continued working his drug empire, Fels stated.

The prosecutor spoke of two dramatic escapes from jail by Guzman and stated he was planning a 3rd when he was dropped at the US Considered one of his escapes in 2015 was by way of a mile-long tunnel dug right into a bathe in his jail cell that he slipped into earlier than fleeing on a motorbike.

The tunnel escape was a black eye for the Mexican authorities, a humiliation amplified when the actor Sean Penn was capable of finding and interview him at certainly one of his hideouts in Mexico whereas he was on the run from authorities.

Mexican band Los Varones de Culiacan composed a song about the daring prison escape of drug kingpin El Chapo.

Mexican band Los Varones de Culiacan composed a track in regards to the daring jail escape of drug kingpin El Chapo. Credit score:AP

Fels stated Guzman used a few of his wealth to repay the Mexican navy and police and to finance assault rifles, grenade launchers and explosives to interact in “battle after bloody battle.” He accused the defendant of personally taking pictures two males and having their our bodies burned.

Guzman’s legal professional informed jurors it could have been inconceivable for him to be accountable for the cartel since he was both in jail or hiding out within the Mexican countryside throughout the complete time US prosecutors declare he was the chief.

Among the cooperators will “inform you he has no cash,” Lichtman stated.

An e mail written by a US agent who eavesdropped on Guzman for a 12 months wrote, “Chapo was extra of a fantasy than an precise legend,” and that he was “not impressed” by him, the lawyer added.

Opening statements had been delayed about six hours on Tuesday after two jurors had been dismissed for hardships and had been changed in a continuing in one other courtroom. Dozens of members of the media and different spectators had been left ready within the trial courtroom and in an overflow room with a warning that they’d lose their seats to folks in an extended line exterior in the event that they stepped away.


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