Where are Emma Coronel’s brothers involved in drug trafficking?

Emma Coronel was freed in the US, but her family's ties with the Sinaloa Cartel are still being investigated. Brother Edgar aided El Chapo's escape.

On September 13, Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of “Chapo” Guzmán and a former beauty queen, was released after nearly three years of incarceration in the United States. Her arrest and subsequent imprisonment were due to her involvement in the notorious Sinaloa Cartel’s criminal operations, particularly in drug trafficking and money laundering.

However, while Emma may have found her freedom, many of her family members, also deeply intertwined with the cartel, remain behind bars.

A family ensnared in crime

Inés Omar Coronel Aispuro, Emma’s elder brother, remains imprisoned at the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (Cefereso) No. 13 in Oaxaca. He was taken into custody on the morning of April 30, 2013, alongside their father, Inés Coronel Barreras, during a Federal Police raid in Agua Prieta, Sonora. The duo was reportedly operating from a residence used by the cartel to coordinate drug activities across several municipalities.

El padre de Emma Coronel, Inés Coronel, fue capturado en 2013. (Twitter/Riodoce_mx)
Emma Coronel’s father, Inés Coronel, was captured in 2013. (Twitter/Riodoce_mx)

In recounting the arrest, the Interior Ministry (Segob) stated, “Both family members were arrested without a single shot being fired.” Additionally, a significant amount of contraband, including four long guns, one short gun, and around 255 kilos of marijuana, was seized during the operation.

Inés Coronel Barreras had already become a high-priority target for authorities because of his significant role in marijuana cultivation in the Durango highlands. In 2017, both he and his son were sentenced to a decade-long prison term.

The Younger Coronel: A Key Player in “El Chapo’s” Escape

Emma’s younger brother, Edgar Coronel Aispuro, played a pivotal role in the Sinaloa Cartel’s machinations. Investigations from the now-defunct Attorney General’s Office (PGR) revealed that Edgar was instrumental in orchestrating and supervising the audacious tunnel escape of “El Chapo” from the Altiplano prison in 2015.

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In an intriguing twist to the story, a pet monkey owned by “El Chapo’s” daughters became a crucial lead in Edgar’s capture. After the daring prison break, Edgar allegedly met “Chapo” and escorted him to a Queretaro airstrip. Subsequently, they boarded a small plane bound for Villa Adolfo López Mateos in Culiacán.

Un mono, mascota de las hijas del "Chapo", fue clave para su captura luego de su fuga del Penal del Altiplano.
A monkey, the pet of “El Chapo’s” daughters, was key to his capture after he escaped from the Altiplano prison.

However, Edgar’s criminal charges weren’t limited to aiding and abetting “El Chapo”. He was also indicted for possession of cocaine hydrochloride intended for sale and unauthorized possession of military-grade firearms.

Edgar’s arrest came in October 2015, in Sinaloa. He was found in a red Mustang with Héctor Carrasco Ruiz and a monkey named “Botas”, the beloved pet of “El Chapo’s” offspring. Due to denied air transport permissions for the monkey, Edgar had chosen to travel by road, a decision that eventually led to his capture.

Currently, Edgar is incarcerated at Cefereso No. 1 in the Altiplano, the very facility from which he once masterminded “Chapo’s” escape. As of now, there is no official word on any conviction against him.

Lingering Questions

Emma Coronel Aispuro’s release raises more questions than it answers. As she walks free, the fate of her family members, and their deep ties to the cartel, remain subjects of intense scrutiny and speculation. Only time will reveal the full scope of their involvement and the repercussions it may have on the larger war against drug trafficking.