El Chapo trial takes emotional turn as drug lord reduced to tears after seeing daughters for first time in four months
The drug lord was seen wiping tears from his eyes as he waved and blew kisses to the two seven-year-old twin girls at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse.
The atmosphere at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse, in New York City seemed like a scene straight out of Netflix's 'Narcos' on Thursday as the trial of notorious drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman hit an emotional high note.
When he saw his seven-year-old twin daughters for the first time in four months at his drug trafficking trial, the infamous kingpin broke down in tears, the Daily Mail reports.
According to the report, El Chapo's wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, walked through the doors of the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse with their two twin daughters for a surprise visit and the defendant got visibly emotional. “He was visibly crying, eyes bright red and dabbing at his eyes,” El Chapo's lawyer Eduardo Balarezo told the Daily News. “He last saw them in August.”
Blowing kisses and waving back to the seven-year-olds, Chapo reportedly began mouthing words to his daughters before being reprimanded by a court marshal. At one point, two reporters offered to move aside so Chapo could see his daughters seated in the back, and he thanked them with a thumbs up. Chapo's wife Coronel is said to have let the little girls clamber all over her to get a better look at their father during the day's proceedings.
Experts say that the emotional exchange is expected to have an impact on the jury, helping to humanize the defendant in light of the heinous charges he currently faces.
The twins, dressed in matching white blazers with black bows in their hair, are due to visit their father at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan on Friday. Along with Coronel, 29, the two girls are the only family members permitted to visit El Chapo since his extradition to the US last year.
In a recent interview with Telemundo, Coronel spoke about how she planned to attend as much of the estimated three-month trial as possible but admitted that it’s been taking a toll on her.
“I think it’s what any wife would do, being by their husband’s side in difficult times, like the ones he’s going through right now,” she said. “Obviously I want to see him, I want to be with him. I want to know what’s going on.” Coronel also described El Chapo as a “humble and simple” family man and said he appears “thinner” since his extradition to the US last year, but believes he’s “staying positive” through the trial.
The wife of Mexico's drug lord El Chapo, Emma Coronel Aispuro, walks to her husband's trial in Brooklyn.— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) November 14, 2018
Coronel Aispuro is:
- A teenage former beauty queen
- An American citizen
- 29 years-old to El Chapo's 61 years
- Mother to their 7-year old twins pic.twitter.com/jlQF7ecWw3
In one of the biggest drug trials of the century, El Chapo has pleaded not guilty to 17 different indictments that include charges of drug smuggling, drug distribution, money laundering and conspiring to commit murder. Security was reportedly tightened around the federal courthouse in Brooklyn during the appearance of Guzman, who has twice escaped Mexican jails.
Prosecutors claim he led the notorious Sinaloa Cartel, believed at one point to have been responsible for more than half of illegal drugs smuggled over the southern US border each year. They believe he spent over decades smuggling cocaine into the US, raking in as much as $14 billion in wealth from doing so.
But El Chapo’s lawyers claim he’s been made a scapegoate in a vast conspiracy plotted by his longtime partner, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada Garcia, who they claim has conspired with officials at the highest levels of the Mexican government.
On the first day of the trail, employing a very imaginative analogy, Assistant US Attorney Adam Fels spoke about how authorities in the US had seized enough cocaine from the Sinaloa Cartel to form 328 million separate "lines" of the drug - enough for every person in the US "to have a line."
"Money, drugs, murder; a vast global narcotics trafficking organization. That is what this trial is about and that is what the evidence in this case will prove," Fels said. "You'll have the chance to read his text messages, evidence of drug deals, killings, corruption."
From 1989 to 2014, the Sinaloa cartel allegedly smuggled over 340,892 pounds of cocaine into the United States, as well as heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana. The prosecutor also alleged in his opening statements that EL Chapo had his "own private army" of hundreds of men armed with assault rifles, as well as his own diamond-encrusted pistol branded with his initials and a gold-plated AK-47.
The trail is expected to last up to four months.