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US arrests wife of drug kingpin 'El Chapo'

February 22, 2021

Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was arrested from an airport outside of Washington. She's been detained on international drug trafficking charges.

Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, seen leaving the federal court in New York earlier this month.
Emma Coronel Aispuro was a regular attendee at her husband's trial Image: Seth Wenig/AP/picture alliance

Authorities in the United States have arrested the wife of jailed Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the Justice Department said on Monday.

Emma Coronel Aispuro was arrested on a drug trafficking charge when she arrived at the Dulles International Airport outside of Washington. 

She is expected to appear in Washington's federal district court on Tuesday through video conferencing. 

What is she accused of?

The 31-year-old faces charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for unlawful importation into the US.

Coronel Aispuro has also been accused of helping her husband escape from a prison in Mexico in 2015.

The Justice Department said she was also "engaged in planning yet another prison escape'' before Guzman was extradited to the US in 2017. 

Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Joaquin Guzman, arrives at a court in New York during her husband's 2019 trial
Emma Coronel Aispuro arrives at a court in New York during her husband's 2019 trialImage: Reuters/B. McDermid

What do we know about her?

Coronel Aispuro holds a dual US-Mexico citizenship and has twins with Guzman. 

She had appeared in court almost everyday during Guzman’s three-month trial in New York in 2019.

While the US authorities’ intention to arrest her was previously not known, it had been suggested that she was involved in Guzman’s drug trade and jailbreaks. 

"I can only say that I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am not perfect, but I consider myself a good human being who has never hurt anyone intentionally," she said when her husband’s trial ended.

In this file photo, Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is escorted by Mexican authorities after being recaptured in October 2016
Guzman managed to escape a Mexican prison in 2015 before being recapturedImage: picture alliance/dpa/J. Mendez

Who is her husband 'El Chapo'?

Guzman, who led Mexico’s infamous Sinaloa Cartel for nearly 25 years, was sentenced to life in prison in July 2019.

US prosecutors have said in recent court papers that the cartel was responsible for smuggling tons of cocaine and other drugs into the US during Guzman's reign. 

The drug baron’s "army" was also under orders to kidnap, torture and kill those who got in the cartel's way, prosecutors said.

dvv/rs (AFP, AP)