THE trial of cartel boss Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has finally ended in New York after he was handed over by Mexican authorities.
He is accused of running the world’s biggest drug cartel and spending 25 years smuggling over 155 tons of cocaine into the US. Here’s more about him.
Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was the head of cartel which transports multi-ton cocaine shipments into the United States[/caption]
Who is Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman?
Joaquin Guzman is a Mexican drug kingpin known as El Chapo – which means “shorty” in English – due to his short stature.
He headed the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal organisation named after the Mexican Pacific coast.
El Chapo became the country’s top drug lord in 2003 after the arrest of his rival Osiel Cardenas of the Gulf Cartel.
He was considered the “most powerful drug trafficker in the world” by the United States Department of the Treasury.
Pictured during his arrest last year – Mexico has agreed to hand him over to US authorities and on January 19, 2017, a court threw out his final challenge against extradition[/caption]
What was the outcome of this his trial?
The trial, took place in Brooklyn, New York, will cost millions of dollars and is expected to last more than four months.
It started on November 5, 2018.
On February 12, 2019 El Chapo was found guilty of all the counts against him.
He will sentenced on June 25.
The notorious Mexican drugs baron had been on the run after escaping from jail, before he was caught early in 2016 – he battled against being sent to America to face charges but lost the fight in January 2017.
Experts say the US government had a very strong case against Guzman, 61.
The jury selection began on November 5 and it was conducted under the tightest security restrictions.
US District Court Judge Brian Cogan presided over the process and the 12 jurors, with six alternatives, will remain anonymous.
Guzman has remained in solitary confinement in New York since he was extradited.
His 29-year-old beauty queen wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, has been banned from visiting him in prison and has instead attended many of his pre-trial hearings, waving and blowing him kisses.
She reportedly burst into tears as the verdict was being read out.
What is his net worth?
He has accrued a net worth of roughly $1billion (£767million) – and was named as the 10th richest man in Mexico in 2011.
Forbes magazine have ranked him as one of the most powerful people in the world every year between 2009 and 2011.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration estimated he matched the influence and reach of Pablo Escobar.
Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel – an international drug trafficking, money laundering and organised crime syndicate established in the mid 1980s – was also involved in the production, smuggling and distribution of Mexican methamphetamine, marijuana, ecstasy and heroin across the US and Europe.
How did he escape from prison?
He was arrested in Mexico on February 22, 2014 – found inside a fourth floor flat and captured without any gunshots fired.
El Chapo managed to escape from prison on July 11, 2015, by getting out through a 1.5km tunnel that led to a construction site.
He was recaptured by Mexican marines and Federal Police after a shootout on January 8, 2016.
Over a year later he was extradited to the US to face criminal charges.
MORE ON EL CHAPO
Why was El Chapo sent to America to face charges?
Guzman had been fighting the extradition the US badly wanted for more than a year.
The US government wanted to prosecute him for drug related crimes he is linked to through his cartel and drug trafficking into the country.
Mexico agreed to hand him over to US authorities and on January 19, 2017, when a court threw out his final challenge against extradition.
The foreign ministry said: “The government today handed Mr Guzman Loera to the US authorities.”
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