Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, stepped up and admitted in a U.S. federal court Thursday that she was the good wife who kept running the family business — conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and meth along with money laundering — after her husband was sentenced to life plus 30 years.
Coronel Aispuro, 31, answered yes when asked by a judge whether she had committed the crimes. Now the mother of twin girls with El Chapo faces a minimum of 10 years in federal prison all the way up to a maximum of life on the conspiracy charges. In the end, she was the perfect wife for the most notorious drug kingpin in history.
“I admire him as the human being that I met,” Coronel told the New York Times in 2019, “and the one that I married.” El Chapo married Emma, whose father and brothers were in the Sinaloa smuggling business, in 2007 after she turned 18. It wasn’t an easy life right away for the young wife. Her husband was either on the run from authorities or in jail for their entire marriage. And El Chapo wasn’t exactly faithful. There were mistresses, but Emma put up with all of it. Her loyalty was never in question.
U.S. authorities presented text messages between El Chapo and his mistresses. None of it mattered. Emma never broke. She had literally been through war with the drug lord. Investigators believe she was the mastermind behind Chapo’s tunnel break from a Mexican prison all the way down to the lighting and ventilation to get him to freedom.
Now she’s going down with Chapo.
“Coronel knows and understands the Sinaloa cartel is the most prolific cartel in Mexico,” FBI special agent Eric McGuire said in an arrest affidavit. “Coronel was aware of multi-ton cocaine shipments, multi-kilo heroin production, multi-ton marijuana shipments, and ton quantity methamphetamine shipments.”
The New York Times notes that Coronel’s plea agreement doesn’t require her to rat out El Chapo’s allies, relatives, or business partners. Still, a source told the Daily Mail that two of Guzman’s sons — Joaquin Guzman Lopez, 36, and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 30 — have been indicted by U.S. authorities and it’s impossible to know what Coronel has shared at this point. Two other sons are said to still be involved with the family business as dad wastes away in a supermax prison.