Who is Emma Coronel, the wife of “El Chapo” Guzmán sentenced to 3 years in prison in the United States.

Shortly after his arrest, in February this year, he pleaded guilty and cooperated with justice. And this Tuesday he received a moderate sentence of three years for drug trafficking and money laundering.

She was only a teenager when she married Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the judge justified this Tuesday in New York the sentence against Emma Coronel, the wife of the famous leader of the Sinaloa cartel.

“I show my sincere regret for all the damage that may have caused,” said Coronel before the sentence was known. “I am suffering as a result of the harm I caused to my family,” he added.

As part of his plea deal with prosecutors in June, Coronel, 32, had admitted to acting as a messenger between Guzmán and other members of the Sinaloa cartel while the capo was being held in the Altiplano Mexican prison after his arrest in 2014. .

Guzmán used those communications to plan his 2015 escape from prison, north of Toluca, Mexico, through an underground tunnel built by the cartel that led to his cell shower.

The kingpin was recaptured in January 2016 and extradited a year later to the United States. He was convicted in February 2019 of drug trafficking, conspiracy, kidnapping, murder and other charges, and later sentenced to life in prison in a media trial that Coronel avoided.

“A torture”

In that trial, when “El Chapo” entered the New York court, in which he ended up being sentenced, his gaze was almost always directed towards the public area.

Guzmán seemed not to miss any opportunity to greet Colonel Aispuro, his wife.

Colonel, always elegant and with luxurious suits and jewels, was one of the protagonists due to her silent presence of support for her husband.

“To my wife to this day you have not been allowed to visit me. I have not been allowed to hug my daughters. It has been an emotional, psychological and mental torture 24 hours a day. It is the most inhumane thing that I have experienced in my life, “protested” El Chapo “at the 2019 hearing where his sentence was known.

Coronel was present for most of the trial, spending numerous days “from the beginning to the end of the day” among the public, commented then the journalist Gerardo Lissardy, who followed the trial from the court for BBC Mundo.

“When El Chapo entered, the first thing he used to do was to greet her from a distance, sometimes with his hand and other times with a gesture. And she has returned the greeting a few times. Even during the course of the trial, in the middle of some testimony, Guzmán has looked for her with his eyes from the chair of the accused“, Recounted the journalist.

Guzmán was extradited from Mexico to the US in January 2017, faced trial, and was sentenced to life in prison.

Coronel met Guzmán when he was just 17 years old.

Researchers of Mexican drug trafficking, such as the journalist and writer José Reveles, assure that Coronel is “The love of life” from the bonnet.

Their relationship has lasted for more than a decade, despite the fact that Guzmán spent a good part of those years as a fugitive from justice and imprisoned in both Mexico and the United States.

The origins of Emma Coronel

Colonel was born in Santa Clara, California, but grew up in the ranchería of The Angostura, a place with just a few dozen inhabitants in the northern region of Mexico known as “the Golden Triangle” of drug trafficking.

“You don’t see anything extravagant there, things you see in the city that are so stressful. It’s a very quiet life, ”Coronel told journalist Anabel Hernández in an interview published in the weekly Proceso in 2016.

Emma Coronel

Getty Images
Coronel has dual Mexican-American nationality.

Despite the fact that she assures that her family dedicated themselves to agriculture, both her father, Ines Coronel Barrier, like his older brother, Ines Omar, today they are sentenced to prison for being linked to activities of the El Chapo cartel.

Both José Reveles and Anabel Hernández herself assure that the late capo Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel Barrier -one of the highest leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel along with “El Chapo” and Ismael “el Mayo” Zambada- was the young woman’s uncle.

But Emma Coronel assures that she did not even know him.

Guzman's wife, Emma Coronel.

Guzmán’s wife went to the New York court where “El Chapo” was tried.

How did you meet “El Chapo”?

At 17, Coronel was at a celebration in the vicinity of La Angostura when he first saw Joaquín Guzmán, according to what he told Hernández.

I say that what conquered me about him was his talk, his way of treating me … He did not bring me great gifts or great things, but he wins people over by the way they are, “she said after being asked about the age difference between them.

They were married in church the day Coronel came of age, in its eighteenth birthday, on July 2, 2007. They had a party only with close family, he said.

Emma Coronel

Getty Images
Colonel said that his life with one of the most wanted men in the world was “very normal.”

He denied that there were politicians from the region present or that the union had the protection of the Mexican Army, as press reports indicated at the time.

“At that time, did you already understand who Joaquín Guzmán Loera was?” Hernández asked him. “I do not think so”, answered.

His relationship with Guzmán

Her marriage to one of the most powerful drug trafficking bosses in Mexico led her to Culiacán, Sinaloa, one of the bastions of the cartel that her husband led for two decades, as determined by the US Justice.

Study Periodism at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, a time that Coronel defined as “quite normal.”

In 2011, she had the twins María Joaquina and Emaly Guadalupe, but she confessed that she only saw her husband when “everything was somewhat normal” in the activities she carried out.

Emma Coronel with her daughters

Getty Images
Coronel and Guzmán have two twin daughters.

He assured that he never saw weapons or drugs when he was with him: “In fact, I am not aware that he traffics drugs”, said.

“I can say that we have had a very good relationship, we have always gotten along very well. He is a very attentive man, very affectionate, very respectful, very cheerful, who makes you forget your problems. When you see him and you know that he has a lot of problems, it is as if nothing ”.


Coronel could not live with Guzmán since he was extradited to the United States in January 2017.

Unlike what they allowed him in prison in Mexico, in the latter country The authorities they applied strict isolation the capo, who escaped twice from Mexican maximum security prisons.

Emma Coronel

Getty Images
The judge did not grant “El Chapo” that he could hug his wife during the trial.

Judge Brian Cogan rejected his request to have a few seconds to hug his wife precisely for security reasons, a circumstance that Guzmán harshly criticized at the hearing where his sentence was known in 2019.

Even so, Coronel faithfully attended the sessions and reciprocated his greetings until the end.

In recent months, Coronel distanced himself from the low profile that he has traditionally maintained in the media and strengthened his presence on the social network Instagram, where he promotes Sinaloa companies between his hundreds of thousands of followers.

In late 2019, he even participated in the American reality show Crew Poster, which retraced the lives of characters linked to the world of organized crime and which received great criticism and requests that it not be broadcast.

This Tuesday, the judge who communicated the sentence wished him luck.

“I hope you raise your twins in a different environment than the one you have lived in until now.”

Now you can receive notifications from BBC News Mundo. Download the new version of our app and activate them so you don’t miss out on our best content.