It has been confirmed that the woman found with Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was his wife, beauty queen Emma Coronel when he was apprehended by Mexican authorities on Saturday, Feb. 22.

Guzman, known as the most wanted drug lord and leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, was captured on Saturday by Mexican marines, and details of the take down have slowly been emerging since. Guzman has been running from the police since he escaped prison in 2001 and was finally captured in a condo in Mazatlan, Mexico. Guzman and Coronel managed to escape from their Culiacan hideaway through a system of underground tunnels and Guzman was reportedly with his wife, a bodyguard and his young twin daughters when he was apprehended.

“He had an AK-47 next to the bed. When the Mexican marines entered the condominium, he was still asleep. They used the element of surprise, and he did not have a chance to react and seize his weapon,” revealed former Drug Enforcement Administration official Michael Vigil who says he was briefed on the incident.

Coronel, met Guzman when she was just 17. She caught his eye when she competed in a beauty pageant in 2007, and married Guzman when she was 18 – Guzman was 47 at the time. In 2012, Coronel crossed the border to give birth to twins in California, ensuring their American citizenship. Coronel herself has dual citizenship; her mother is American and her father, Ignacio Coronel was one of Guzma’s associates in the Sinaloa Cartel.

U.S. authorities were reportedly aware of Coronel’s U.S. visit in 2012, but they were not within their rights to apprehend her, as she is a U.S. citizen and had not committed any crimes.

Guzman is currently being held in Almoloya de Juarez’s maximum security prison, with the U.S. requesting his extradition to charge him with drug trafficking. Coronel and her children were also brought in, but it is unclear as to whether or not Coronel will be charged of any crimes.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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