Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of “El Chapo” Guzmán, leaves federal court in Brooklyn after his sentencing, July 17, 2019.
Jesse Ward/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
In recent months, US authorities have arrested the wives of three Sinaloa Cartel figures, including “El Chapo” Guzmán.
The arrests shed light on what cartel operatives and security experts say is the overlooked but important role wives play in Mexican organized crime.
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Ciudad Juarez, MEXICO – The infamous Sinaloa Cartel is relying on its wives to keep its more complicated operations going, according to cartel operatives, security analysts, and government indictments.
The arrests of Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of jailed kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and of Mia and Olivia Flores, wives of Pedro and Margarito Flores, twin brothers and distributors for the cartel, offer a glimpse of the influence kingpins’ wives have over the cartel’s operations.
On February 22, Coronel was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and charged with helping her husband operate the cartel he led for decades. Coronel pleaded guilty to drug-trafficking and conspiracy charges in June.
Authorities escort Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman after his arrival in New York during his extradition in January 2017.
Aispuro is also accused of aiding at least two of Guzman’s escapes by planning and passing messages, the first in 2012 when he slipped away from US and Mexican authorities in Cabo San Lucas and the latter in 2015 when he escaped from Mexico’s Altiplano maximum-security prison.
“The Defendant agrees that by providing assistance to Guzman, she aided and abetted the objectives of the DTO as a whole,” prosecutors said in Coronel’s 12-page indictment.
According to a Sinaloa Cartel operative in Culiacan, the cartel’s home turf, Coronel’s arrest is “surprising” but the accusations aren’t.
“Authorities don’t pay much attention to the wives [of cartel members]. That’s what was pretty much surprising about this arrest, but the fact that she was operating for the organization is not news. She is not the first” and won’t be the last wife to do so, the operative, who asked for anonymity for safety reasons, told Insider.
The cartel member said most of the kingpins’ wives are in charge of the “complex” tasks, such as money laundering, coordinating operations, and communications with other cartel members, authorities, or lawyers.
Coronel leaves court in Brooklyn with her daughters, June 26, 2018.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a security expert and author of “Los Zetas Inc.,” said that while organized crime is a “very patriarchal world,” women are leveraging their presence in it.
“The prejudice we have of women, where we think they are weaker, incapable of getting involved in a world like organized crime, is actually playing on their favor,” she told Insider.
Correa-Cabrera said women have access to privileged information and to places where men might be limited.
“Emma Coronel could access and move freely from inside and outside prison only because she is El Chapo’s wife. She could even attend the trial of her husband while being investigated by US authorities,” …read more
Source:: Business Insider