El Chapo’s Wife Emma Coronel Pleads Guilty To Drug Trafficking Charges In U.S.
The wife of Mexico’s most notorious drug kingpin, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court Thursday to helping him run the Sinaloa cartel.
Emma Coronel Aispuro pleaded guilty to three federal offenses related to drug trafficking and money laundering for her husband’s criminal empire.
The high-profile case should help us rethink our ideas about the roles women play in organized crime in Mexico, said Cecilia Farfán, head of security research programs at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UC San Diego.
" I think in general women are seen as exceptions; they cast as not violent or criminals," she said. "But the question is not if women participate in organized crime, but how they participate."
She said it’s advantageous to criminal groups for women’s involvement to be overlooked or underestimated, and she hopes Coronel’s guilty plea will reveal the extent of her contributions to and knowledge of the cartel's operations.
Prosecutors allege that Coronel not only helped distribute large quantities of drugs she knew would be smuggled into the United States but also passed messages for Guzmán while he was incarcerated and helped plot his 2015 escape from prison in Mexico.
Coronel, 31 and a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, married Guzmán in 2007. The couple have twin daughters.
"I also think it should remind us that this isn't a glamorous life as it's sometimes portrayed," Farfán added. "Right those young girls are without their parents because they're both in prison."
Guzmán, 64, is serving a life sentence at a Supermax prison in Colorado after being convicted in the United States in 2019 on a slew of charges related to his violent reign over the Sinaloa cartel .
Coronel is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 15.