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Chapo Guzmán faces trial with possible life imprisonment

Juicio Chapo Guzman
  • EFE

Last Tuesday in New York, United States, the trial against Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, accused of drug trafficking and other crimes derived from the former and for which he was arrested and extradited to the US in January 2016, also put in conditions of maximum security after eloping several times in Mexico.

With nuances quite contrasted in his case, the Prosecutor's Office says it will show that the defendant distributed tons of drugs in the United States, while the defense of the case accuses Enrique Peña Nieto and Felipe Calderón, current and former presidents of Mexico respectively, of receiveing millions of dollars from drug trafficker Ismael "el Mayo" Zambada García, leader of the Sinaloa cartel.

Eduardo Sánchez, Peña Nieto's spokesman, who is a few weeks away from finishing his presidential term (2012-2018), pointed out in social networks that the claims of the kingpin's lawyer are "completely false and defamatory." In addition, he recalled that the current Executive "pursued, captured and extradited the criminal Joaquín Guzmán Loera."

Calderón (2006-2012) stated that "the claims made by Joaquín 'el Chapo' Guzmán's lawyer "are absolutely false and reckless," Calderón stated via social network. Neither Guzman "nor the Sinaloa cartel nor any other made payments to me," he insisted.

The indictment is infused in having received large sums of money as part of a blackmail by Zambada García, a drug trafficker who has "40 years of criminal life and has never been in jail," said defense lawyers, according to EFE. The prosecution claims to have evidence of a life of many crimes by the defendant, in which documents, photos of confiscated cargo, text messages and even a video where he interrogates his competitors of the Sinaloa cartel and sends them to be assassinated, we will try to prove that the allegations of drug trafficking, weapons possession and money laundering are unfounded.

With distribution points established in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, Adam Fels, State prosecutor, said that his nickname should be "the quick", since he went from selling marijuana only in 1970 to building tunnels between the border of Mexico and the United States to distribute the drugs, as well as negotiate with Colombian cartels to expand his reach; submarines, ships, airplanes, an army to defend him and even a system of encrypted messages that the United States Government managed to intercept.

With a list of crimes dating from 1989 to 2015, "el Chapo" will be prosecuted before witnesses of all strata, with friends, close friends, enemies and probably relatives, knowing that even with his own cousins he extended a war in which he used grenades, assault rifles and other heavy weapons that he got after bribing various Mexican security officials.

Given the situation, Guzman's defense assured that the real leader of the Sinaloa cartel is Ismael Zambada García, co-founder of the group with the accused and that after his constant bribery of the current president of Mexico and the previous one, he was never imprisoned. When talking about the witnesses, Jefrrey Lichtman, one of Guzmán's lawyers, indicated that they are criminals and therefore their testimony should not be taken into account. Before the accusation of Guzmán's defense, the reaction of the leaders was immediate in this way: Enrique Peña Nieto through his spokesman Eduardo Sánchez, on twitter 

Felipe Calderón, on twitter 

Lichtman himself said that his client "is a long-awaited trophy for the US Government" and that is why this trial is being held, which began 5 hours late after the appointment of two new members in the jury. After the start of this trial on 5 November, the chances of facing life in prison continue to be high for "El Chapo", as well as the constancy in security and protection measures for the members of the jury, who were at first hand terrified of the possible exposure of their identity, according to information from EFE.

For now, the defendant will remain in the safest wing of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan where he is kept 23 hours in a cell of 18 square meters with constant lighting, a small opaque window that does not allow him to see the outside. He has no physical contact with anyone, including his lawyers, his wife and seven-year-old daughter, and for the session on Wednesday, he was prohibited from embracing his spouse, and he does not go out into the yard due to his history of having escaped twice from maximum security prison in Mexico, the last one through a tunnel that entered from his cell.

He is only allowed one hour to exercise and a 15-minute monthly call to his mother and sister who is heard by the authorities. He has also been allowed a Bible and a dictionary from English to Spanish. And under these conditions, he will continue at least until this Thursday, when the trial is resumed in the Brooklyn court in the morning hours.

Source -Editor / EFE

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