Accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman texted his wife while he was on the run after narrowly avoiding capture in 2012, according to the latest damaging evidence presented at his US trial.
Prosecutors showed jurors a series of text messages between Guzman, 61, and Emma Coronel Aispuro, 29, in which they fussed over their twin daughters and exchanged assurances as he fled a raid by Mexican authorities on a mansion in Baja. On the day of the raid, Guzman told his wife about the escape in one of several messages shown to jurors at the trial in federal court in New York.
“It all happened very fast,” Guzman wrote, according to prosecutors. “I saw them pounding on the door next door, but was able to jump out.”
The messages were recovered with the help of a technician who set up a secure messaging system for the Sinaloa Cartel before becoming an FBI co-operator. The tech put the spyware on phones passed out to members of Guzman’s inner circle at his direction, the FBI agent testified.
Guzman said in the messages that he needed a new set of clothes and some black dye for his moustache.
“I love you, love,” he wrote. “Talk to you soon.” She responded at one point: “I hope so darling.”
In an earlier exchange, Guzman described one of his daughters as “fearless,” adding, “I’m going to give her an AK-47 so she can hang with me.”
Also in evidence are loving texts that Guzman traded with a woman who was arrested in the raid in the resort town of Cabo San Lucas.
Guzman’s wife was in the courtroom on Wednesday, but had no visible reaction to portions of the messages as they were displayed on a large video screen and read aloud by an FBI agent.
The infamous kingpin of the Sinaloa cartel was a feared and admired crime boss in Mexico. Perhaps best known for escaping jail twice, he was recaptured and sent to the US in 2017, where his lawyers say he’s being framed.
Facing conspiracy charges and accused of smuggling more that 155 tonnes of cocaine into the US over a period of 25 years, Guzman has pleaded not guilty to drug-trafficking charges at the ongoing trial in federal court in Brooklyn, where the jury has heard the latest testimony from another cartel cohort, Vincente Zambada, and several recordings of phone calls intercepted by the FBI.
Following the other co-operators to testify as government witnesses in the case against Guzman, Zambada described the rampant violence and greed that accompanied Guzman’s rise to power in the international drug trafficking organisation.