Mexican cartel kingpin El Chapo broke down in tears during his trial on Thursday (December 20) after an unexpected surprise appearance.
The 61-year-old headed the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal organisation formed in the Mexican Pacific coast state of Sinaloa. He’s considered one of the most powerful drug traffickers and one of the most dangerous men in the world.
This week marked the start of the drug lord’s sixth week of being on trial at Brooklyn Federal Courthouse; he is accused of 17 different indictments.
El Chapo – real name Joaquin Guzman – was captured in January 2016 after escaping from prisons in Mexico not once, but twice.
He is accused of running an ongoing criminal enterprise, international distribution of drugs, arms possession, money laundering, and conspiracy.
As the trial continues, more and more shocking stories about the Mexican cartel kingpin’s antics over the years are coming to light, but perhaps no one was expecting him to break down in tears at any point.
Which is exactly what happened on Thursday when he saw his seven-year-old twin daughters for the first time in four months in a surprise appearance at court.
The defendant’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, had been missing from court this week but made a return with the two girls, Emaly and Maria Joaquina.
As reported by New York Post, the two girls were wearing matching white blazers, jeans and bows in their hair as they smiled at their dad in court.
Guzman reportedly couldn’t hide his happiness, waving at his daughters and blowing kisses as they sat on their mum’s knee to get a better view of their dad.
And despite the trial continuing, with El Chapo forced to focus on the witness stand – where Colombian national police official Yeson Tapasco Suarez was testifying – he reportedly couldn’t keep his eyes off his daughters.
As reported by CBS News, criminal defence attorney and former prosecutor Vinoo Varghese said the emotional moment will likely have an impact on the jury.
He said on CBSN:
One of the things as defence lawyers we like to do is humanise our clients because, in the words of the government, they’re the worst person in the world.
His daughters are the only family members allowed to visit the drug lord, as he and Aispuro aren’t allowed to communicate. He also got a prison visit with his daughters on Friday (December 21) at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan, where he is currently being held in isolation.
The surprise visit comes after several shocking allegations have been made against Guzman, including that he allegedly ran a ‘cocaine train’ all the way from Mexico to New York City.
As reported by New York Post, a cartel member turned informant made the shocking claim at El Chapo’s drug trafficking trial on December 10.
Tirso Martinez Sanchez told jurors at Brooklyn Federal Court:
Chapo decided who could use the train route.
Martinez described how the train would transport cooking oil into Mexico under the guise of a legitimate business. However, the oil would then be poured out while kilos of cocaine would be hidden in secret compartments.
His workers would add an inch or two of oil around the bottom of the container, to make it look as though all was good. They also coated the cocaine packaging with grease so that any dogs wouldn’t catch the scent.
The 51-year-old testified that the Sinaloa Cartel made between $500 million to $800 million in cocaine sales from the train alone in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago in the three years between 2000 and 2003.
The trial continues.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).