El Chapo: Five things his wife revealed

Video grab released on January 27, 2016 by Mexican General Attorney office, showing Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin El Chapo Guzman in Altiplano maximum security federal prison in Almoloya de Juarez, State of MexicoImage copyright

Image caption

Joaquin “El CHapo” Guzman was Mexico’s most wanted man before his recapture in January

Many are the rumours surrounding the life of Mexico’s most infamous drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Reportedly one of the richest men in the world, the 61-year-old Guzman has escaped from two maximum security jails.

The first time, he was on the run for 13 years. During this time, he married a young Mexican woman, Emma Coronel, on her 18th birthday.

Guzman was recaptured in February 2014 while he was spending time with Ms Coronel at a Mexican beach resort.

In July 2015, he escaped again but this time only managed to stay free for six months before being recaptured.

On Sunday, US Spanish-language TV channel Telemundo broadcast an interview with Ms Coronel in which she spoke about her life with Guzman.

Here are five things we have learned from that interview.

1. El Chapo’s plan to have his life turned into a film is not new

Image copyright

Image caption

“El Chapo” already features on T-Shirts that refer to him as “boss of bosses”

A day after Guzman was captured, an article by Sean Penn pappeared in Rolling Stone magazine recounting how the actor met the drug lord while the latter was in hiding.

The two were put in touch by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo.

Messages between the two published by the Mexican authorities reveal that Guzman wanted his life to be documented in a film.

But Ms Coronel said that idea was not prompted by the meeting with the actors, but rather went back years.

“Ever since I’ve known him, he’s been talking about this.

“More than anything he wants to tell his side of the story, how things really are and not how they have been portrayed.”

2. Guzman ‘inspires confidence’

Image copyright

Image caption

US actor Sean Penn said Guzman had “an indisputable charisma”

Ms Coronel first met Guzman at a party on a ranch in 2006.

Ms Coronel, then 18, was dancing with her boyfriend when the drug lord caught her eye and “coquettishly smiled” at her, she recalled.

“He filled me with a lot of confidence, as a friend,” she recalled about their first meetings.

“I’ve never seen him lose his cool or get angry with anyone,” she said.

It is a perception which apparently was shared by actress Kate del Castillo.

In messages released by Mexican investigators, Guzman tried to re-assure the actress she would be safe if she came to see him in his hideout.

“You’re the best thing in the world. I will look after you like after my own eyes,” Mexico’s most wanted man wrote last year.

“I am so moved that you tell me you’ll look after me, no one has ever looked after me,” Ms del Castillo responded.

3. El Chapo ‘is not a show-off’

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

According to his wife, Joaquin Guzman is not one for lavish presents

Asked what attracted her to Guzman, who is 26 years older than her, Ms Coronel said that it was “his way of talking which won my heart”.

“He didn’t give me big presents or great things,” she recalled.

“He wins people over by the way he acts,” she said. “He is friendly, he greets everyone and speaks to them.”

Ms Coronel dismissed media reports which said her wedding to El Chapo had been a lavish affair attended by high-ranking Mexican politicians.

“Only my family came and the people from the ranch [where the wedding was held]. It was a small affair,” she said.

“I’ve never seen him with any politicians,” she added.

According Ms Coronel, the couple did not travel anywhere for their honeymoon either, although this may have been due more to the international arrest warrant than to Guzman’s desire for a low-key relationship.

4. Guzman’s wife is not the jealous type

Image copyright

Image caption

Kate del Castillo is not a cause for jealousy for Guzman’s wife

Asked by Telemundo’s Anabel Hernandez what Ms Coronel made of the messages Guzman had exchanged with actress Kate del Castillo, she said: “I didn’t think anything.”

“At no point have I been jealous of Kate,” she added. “I admire her work.”

Ms Coronel has also seemed unfazed by allegations that her marriage is void.

Prison authorities turned her back from the gates of Altiplano jail, where her husband is held, saying there was no documentary evidence Guzman had divorced his previous wife.

5. El Chapo ‘is a guy like any other’

Image copyright

Image caption

El Chapo may be in jail but when he was on the run, he just ate and socialised like “any other guy”, his wife claims

Throughout the interview, Ms Coronel stressed time and time again that her husband was “an ordinary guy”.

She said that he was “very intelligent” but that he had had little schooling and that “he had learned from the knocks of life”.

“He acts like any normal person,” she insisted.

Quizzed whether she knew what Guzman did when she married him, she said “no”.

“In fact, I’m not convinced he traffics drugs,” she told Telemundo despite Guzman’s confession that he did in a video released by Rolling Stone magazine.

Ms Coronel said that video was not meant to be made public and “should have been edited”.

“I don’t know where they get that he is bloodthirsty, even a rapist,” she said of accusations levelled against her husband by US and Mexican prosecutors.

“It seems very unjust to be saying such outrageous things bout him,” she added.

“He does not care at which table he sits, he eats anything, he’s just normal.”

comments powered by Disqus