Emma Coronel is poised to regain her freedom this Wednesday after spending two years and four months incarcerated in Texas, followed by a few more months in a transitional home.
Married to the infamous Joaquín Guzmán Loera, commonly known as “El Chapo” and the Sinaloa Cartel leader, Coronel’s primary focus after release is to reconnect with her twin daughters, Emali Guadalupe and María Joaquina. El Chapo is currently serving a life sentence at the maximum-security ADX prison in Florence, Colorado.
In the backdrop of El Chapo’s trial, Coronel voluntarily surrendered to U.S. authorities in February 2021. The trial unveiled that she was well-acquainted with her husband’s illicit affairs, contrary to her previous statements. By pleading guilty and cooperating with the authorities, Coronel managed to secure a reduced sentence.
Conviction and sentence
On November 30, 2021, she was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of conspiracy to distribute drugs, money laundering, and engaging in transactions involving properties owned by a narcotics trafficker. She served her time at the FMC Carswell prison in Fort Worth, Texas, which offered minimal security conditions, allowing her more phone calls and visits.
Holding dual Mexican-American citizenship, Coronel was transferred last June to a transitional system in California. This program assists inmates in acclimating to life outside prison, helping them find employment, and enrolling in various rehabilitation programs.
Even though her three-year sentence was incomplete, the Bureau of Prisons marked September 13 as her tentative release date.
Life beyond the bars
Having met El Chapo in 2006 and marrying him a year later, Coronel had aspirations outside the world of crime. Before her detention, she was set to launch her own clothing line, a venture she is keen to revisit, according to her lawyer, Mariel Colón Miró.
In a statement from April 2019, Coronel announced the “El Chapo Guzmán: JGL, LLC” line after her husband relinquished the rights to his name. “I am very excited to start this project, which was based on ideas and concepts my husband and I had years ago,” Coronel stated. This initiative is separate from the “El Chapo 701” line launched by Alejandrina Gisselle, El Chapo’s daughter, in 2019.
Beyond fashion, Coronel has mentioned owning irrigation lands and, according to various sources, may possess several properties, including a ranch in Guadalajara.
A plea from El Chapo
Recently, a handwritten letter from El Chapo to Judge Brian Cogan came to light, wherein he expressed knowledge of Coronel’s impending release. He wrote, “I don’t see why my wife shouldn’t be allowed to visit me and bring the girls.” El Chapo notes that Coronel is likely to visit him most frequently, as their daughters are in school and other family members, like his sisters and mother, lack the required visa.