Emma Coronel: El Chapo Guzman's Wife Arrested Alongside Drug Lord

Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 08:01 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Emma Coronel, the former beauty queen turned wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was reportedly in the middle of making breakfast for her notorious spouse when Mexican Marines kicked in their condo door on Saturday morning.

The two were hiding in the beach resort town Mazatlan, on Mexico's Pacific Coast, when the arrest was made. The 24-year-old beauty queen, who has two children with the drug lord, was arrested alongside her husband.

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Though armed at the time of his arrest, Guzman did not attempt to engage authorities, The Associated Press reported. However, he attempted to flee through an underground cave system beneath his bath tub when they found him.

Guzman, the 56-year-old son of a peasant farmer, is in charge of the infamous Sinaloa cartel — Mexico’s most powerful international drug-trafficking network that is said to sell cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine in some 54 countries.

News of the high-profile arrest prompted celebrations for President Enrique Peña Nieto, who attributed the achievement to his administration's commitment to cracking down on organized crime.

"The apprehension of one of the most wanted drug lords at the international level shows the effectiveness of the Mexican state, but in no way should it be a motive to fall into triumphalism," Nieto said at an event marking Mexico's Flag Day this week. "On the contrary, this institutional accomplishment encourages us to move forward, working with passion and energy to demonstrate that, yes, it is possible to achieve a peaceful Mexico."

"This detention reaffirms the commitment that the government has to employ all of its abilities in fighting organized crime," he added.

Mexican authorities reportedly received substantial assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S. Marshals Service for the bust. Both agencies spent more than a year investigating the drug ring before they were able to infiltrate it and subsequently turn a cohort of Guzman's, who gave up the drug lord's location, The Washington Post reported.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an unidentified U.S. federal agent told The Post, "It was a traditional drug investigation where one phone begets another phone that begets another phone."

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"We were able to penetrate the inner circle . . . It was really drug investigations 101," the official added.

U.S. prosecutors are seeking to extradite Guzman to the United States to stand trial, officials said on Sunday. Guzman had been on the run since 2001, having escaped from police following a similar arrest.

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