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Mexico’s ‘El Chapo’ cartel boss discovered responsible in U.S. drug trial

Mexico's 'El Chapo' cartel boss found guilty in U.S. drug trial


Mexico’s ‘El Chapo’ cartel boss discovered responsible in U.S. drug trial

© Eduardo Verdugo/AP Photograph
This Feb. 22, 2014 file picture exhibits Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the top of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, being escorted to a helicopter in Mexico Metropolis following his seize in a single day within the seashore resort city of Mazatlan. A decide in Mexico has issued a second arrest warrant to detain escaped drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman primarily based on an extradition request from america. The federal prosecutors’ workplace stated Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 the brand new warrant is for U.S. costs of organized crime, cash laundering drug trafficking, murder and others. Guzman escaped on July 11, 2015 via a tunnel from Mexico’s highest-security jail.

NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters) – The world’s most notorious cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who rose from poverty in rural Mexico to run a worldwide drug empire and amass billions of {dollars}, was discovered responsible in a U.S. courtroom on Tuesday of drug trafficking.


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Jurors in federal courtroom in Brooklyn discovered Guzman, 61, responsible on all 10 counts. He now faces a attainable sentence of life in jail.

Guzman, one of many main figures in Mexican drug wars which have roiled the nation since 2006, was extradited to america for trial in 2017 after he was arrested in Mexico the 12 months earlier than.

Although different high-ranking cartel figures had been extradited beforehand, Guzman was the primary to go to trial as an alternative of pleading responsible.

The trial, which featured testimony from greater than 50 witnesses, supplied the general public an unprecedented have a look at the internal workings of the Sinaloa Cartel, named for the state in northwestern Mexico the place Guzman was born in a poor mountain village.

The legend of Guzman was burnished by two dramatic escapes he comprised of Mexican prisons and by a “Robin Hood” picture he cultivated amongst Sinaloa’s poor.

U.S. prosecutors stated he trafficked tons of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into america over greater than 20 years, consolidating his energy in Mexico via murders and wars with rival cartels.

Small in stature, Guzman’s nickname means “Shorty.” His smuggling exploits, the violence he used and the sheer measurement of his illicit enterprise made Guzman the world’s most infamous drug baron since Colombia’s Pablo Escobar, who was shot useless by police in 1993. Guzman’s legal professionals say he was arrange as a “fall man” by Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, a robust drug lord from Sinaloa who stays at massive. DRUG WARS

Mexico has been mired for 12 years in a lethal military-led warfare towards drug gangs. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected final 12 months after promising a change, suggesting a negotiated peace and amnesty for non-violent drug sellers, traffickers and farmers.

Probably the most detailed proof towards Guzman got here from greater than a dozen former associates who struck offers to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors.

By way of them, jurors heard how the Sinaloa Cartel gained energy amid the shifting allegiances of the Mexican drug commerce within the 1990s, ultimately coming to regulate virtually the whole Pacific coast of Mexico.

They heard how Guzman made a reputation for himself within the 1980s as “El Rapido,” the speedy one, by constructing cross-border tunnels that allowed him to maneuver cocaine from Mexico into america sooner than anybody else.

The witnesses, who included a few of Guzman’s high lieutenants, a communications engineer and a onetime mistress, described how he constructed a complicated group harking back to a multinational company, with fleets of planes and boats, detailed accounting ledgers and an encrypted digital communication system run via secret laptop servers in Canada.

A former bodyguard testified that he watched Guzman kill three rival drug cartel members, together with one sufferer who he shot after which ordered to be buried at the same time as he was nonetheless gasping for air.

Estimates of how a lot cash Guzman comprised of medication fluctuate. In 2009, Forbes Journal put him on its checklist of the world’s richest individuals, with an estimated $1 billion. It later dropped him from the checklist, saying it was too tough to quantify his property.

The U.S. Justice Division stated in 2017 it sought forfeiture of greater than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit earnings from Guzman.

The trial additionally featured intensive testimony about corruption in Mexico, most of it involving bribes to legislation enforcement, navy and native authorities officers so the cartel may perform its day-to-day drug delivery operations undisturbed.

Probably the most stunning allegation got here from Guzman’s former high aide Alex Cifuentes, who accused former Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto of taking a $100 million bribe from Guzman. A spokesman for the ex-president has denied the declare.

In one of many trial’s last days, Guzman instructed the decide he wouldn’t testify in his personal protection. The identical day, he grinned broadly at viewers member Alejandro Edda, the Mexican actor who performs Guzman within the Netflix drama “Narcos.”

Regardless of his ties to authorities officers, Guzman typically lived on the run. Imprisoned in Mexico in 1993, he escaped in 2001 hidden in a laundry cart and spent the next years shifting from one hideout to a different within the mountains of Sinaloa, guarded by a non-public military.

He was seized and imprisoned once more in 2014, however pulled off his finest recognized escape the next 12 months when he disappeared right into a tunnel dug into his cell in a most safety jail.

However the Mexican authorities says he blew his cowl via a sequence of slip ups, together with an try and make a film about his life. He was lastly recaptured in January 2016 following a shootout in Sinaloa.

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