Put aside the presidential corruption, the trains of cocaine, and all the other bonkers stuff we’ve learned from El Chapo’s ongoing trial in Brooklyn. If there is one detail imprinted in my mind it’s this: Joaquín Guzmán Loera escaped in a sewer naked.
One of Guzmán’s many mistresses testified about the harrowing escape in court on Thursday. It’s a fabled story told once before, but now with new life and some level of authoritative truth. As the New York Times reports, when troops arrived at Chapo’s door on Feb. 17, 2014, the drug lord escaped with his household and later trudged through Culiacán’s sewers.
The mistress, Lucero Guadalupe Sánchez López, shared the two’s love story in court, turning on her former lover as a witness for the prosecution. The Times report makes the whole testimony sound like a Love & Hip Hop reunion, writing that she “still appeared to be in love with the drug lord—at one point erupting into tears on the stand.”
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“Here’s a first-person look at the effort to break down El Chapo’s reinforced steel door, shot by a DEA agent with a GoPro camera. He takes a turn with the battering ram but can’t get the job done.” — @hamiltonkeegan 🎥 via U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York
This all went down with Guzmán’s wife Emma Coronel Aispuro in the room. Awkward! “Ms. Coronel played with her hair and largely stared forward,” the Times reports, while “Mr. Guzmán refused to meet either woman’s gaze.”
Sánchez was arrested back in 2017, and was one of the mistresses targeted in the FBI’s huge wiretapping investigation that came to light earlier this month. The pillow talk between the two former lovers was projected for the court to see. Anyway, on Feb. 17, 2014 the DEA and Mexican marines weren’t able to apprehend Guzmán, so the naked sewer escape worked. Five days later they captured the drug lord with his wife and twin daughters.