Mexican cartel kingpin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman found guilty in New York trial

El Chapo Joaquin Guzman

Mexican cartel chief Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was found guilty in New York City on Tuesday.
The verdict comes after 11 weeks of testimony from high-profile cartel figures and law-enforcement officials.
The case revealed an array of sordid details about the Sinaloa cartel and about Guzman himself.

After six days of deliberations, jurors in New York City returned a guilty verdict in the trial of Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, finding him responsible for all counts of an indictment that included drug-trafficking, conspiracy, and use-of-firearms charges.

Guzman now faces a mandatory minimum of life in prison. He will be sentenced on June 25.

The verdict comes after 11 weeks of arguments and testimony — just 30 minutes of it from the defense — in federal court that released a torrent of sensational accusations implicating nearly every level of Mexican law-enforcement and politics, including the country’s current and former presidents, in criminal activity.

Read more: The rise and fall of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, the world’s most ambitious drug lord

The narcos and law-enforcement officials who took the stand during the trial revealed a litany of sordid details about the Sinaloa cartel’s operations and about the violent, decadent, and sometimes perverse proclivities of Guzman, 61, who is believed to have been the organization’s main leader for much of the past two decades.

The defense tried to cast Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, who is seen as Guzman’s peer at the top of the cartel, as the organization’s mastermind.

The elder Zambada has never been caught, but one of his sons, Vicente, testified against the capo he was once poised to succeed, revealing details about jailbreaks, massive smuggling schemes, and widespread corruption.

Read more: Mexican troops are in the streets to fight the drug war, and the country’s defense chief says legalization may be ‘a way out’

Another witness, Hildebrando Alexander Cifuentes-Villa, a Colombian drug-trafficking scion, added to the tales of bribery, alleging that Guzman paid $100 million through an intermediary to President Enrique Peña Nieto, whose six-year term ended in December.

A representative for Peña Nieto denied the allegation, as did his predecessor, Felipe Calderon, who was implicated alongside Peña Nieto during the trial’s opening arguments.

Cifuentes also told the court of Guzman’s cinematic aspirations, saying that Guzman was interested in having a movie made about himself as early as 2007 — long before his mountain-hideout meeting with Sean Penn.

The Sinaloa cartel is not a hierarchical organization; at times the factions of which it is comprised were at odds with each other. A constant backdrop to Guzman’s exploits was violence with partners as well as rivals.

Read more: Mexico supplies most of the US’s heroin, but prices are still falling — here’s how life is changing in Mexico’s heroin heartland

Guzman clashed with members of the Beltran-Leyva family, to which he was related, …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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