Emma Coronel Aispuro “grew up” knowing the world of Mexico’s drug cartels.
In an indictment for alleged international drug trafficking, the Federal Bureau of Investigation provides a rare glimpse into how the dual US-Mexico citizen entered the world of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Born in California in 1989, she met El Chapo as a teenager in about 2007. They married two years later at the age of 18, when he was 47.
“I would say what won me over was his way of talking, how he treated me, the way we began to get along – first as friends and from that came everything else,” she said in a 2016 interview with The Los Angeles Times.
“He tends to win over people by his manner of being, of acting, the way he treats people in general.”
She has been charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana in the US. She’s also accused of helping plot her husband’s 2015 escape from a prison in Mexico, as well as helping plan another jailbreak once he was recaptured in 2016.
According to court documents, Ms Aispuro is suspected of conspiring to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, 500 grams or more of meth, and five or more kilograms of cocaine.
According to FBI Special Agent Eric McGuire, Ms Aispuro’s family had a “historical friendship” with El Chapo as part of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel.
Her father, Ines Coronel, was a Sinaloa Cartel member designated a “significant foreign narcotics trafficker” by the Office of Foreign Asset Control under the Kingpin Designation Act for trafficking with El Chapo.
He was arrested, along with Ms Aispuro’s brother, in 2013 on narcotics and firearm charges in Mexico. They were sentenced to 10 years in prison.
“[Ms Aispuro] grew up with knowledge of the narcotics trafficking industry, and married Guzman when she was a teenager. “[She] understood the scope of the Sinaloa Cartel’s drug trafficking.” Mr McGuire wrote in the indictment.
Often referred to as a former beauty queen, her crown from the Coffee and Guava Festival is said to have been won with the influence of El Chapo himself.
Speaking out in 2018, Ms Aispuro claimed to Telemundo she never knew of her husband’s illegal dealing.
That year, photos on Instagram showed her hosting a Barbie-themed birthday party for their twin daughters at a mansion, bedazzled and posing in stilettos next to a full-sized Barbie Dream House.
After sitting through El Chapo’s 11-week trial day after day, she emerged into a life of glamour and excess while her husband served a life prison sentence.
Less than two weeks after El Chapo’s 2019 sentencing, she posted to Instagram pictures of a gondola ride near Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, along with images of cake and the caption, “what diet?”
During a debut appearance on VH1’s reality show “Cartel Crew”, she revealed her dreams to start a clothing line in El Chapo’s name, and planned to make several appearances on the show’s second season.
“I am very excited to start this project, I am trying to do what we talked about and what we wanted,” she said while sipping champagne on a boat in Miami.
‘It’s sad that they judge without knowing us. Sometimes you just want to be a normal person, I consider myself a normal woman.”