The verdict: drug Lord El Chapo will spend the rest of his life in prison
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexican drug Lord and head of the Sinaloa cartel today, July 17, in new York was sentenced to life imprisonment and another 30 years in prison.
According to prosecutors, Guzman will also lose $12.6 billion.
62-year-old Guzman, whose nickname “El Chapo” means “Shorty”, was found guilty in February of trading tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana and participating in numerous conspiracy to murder.
El Chapo complained about the poor conditions of his detention prior to sentencing.
“It was emotional and psychological torture 24 hours a day,” Guzman said. He added that the media influenced the jury’s decision – an argument that his lawyers also cited.
“The United States is no better than any other corrupt country,” Guzman said.
Before he was captured in 2016, El Chapo twice escaped from high-security prisons in Mexico. He was extradited to the United States to stand trial in January 2017.
He began his “career” in the 1980s, digging tunnels under the U.S.-Mexico border that allowed him to smuggle drugs faster than any of his business rivals.
He gained more and more power in the 1990s and 2000s thanks to frequent bloody wars with rivals, eventually becoming the most famous leader of the Sinaloa cartel.
Witnesses, including several senior “lieutenants” Guzman, a communications engineer and former mistress, told how he built a complex organization resembling a multinational Corporation.
According to witnesses, he was sending drugs in the United States on boats and airplanes, he had a detailed account books and system of encrypted electronic communication passing through a secret computer servers in Canada.
U.S. prosecutors claim that Guzman sold drugs worth more than $12 billion, and Forbes magazine once called him one of the richest people in the world. Imprisoned in Mexico in 1993, he escaped in 2001, hiding in a Laundry cart, and spent several years moving from one shelter to another in the mountains of Mexico.
In 2014, he was captured again, but the following year he made his most famous escape when he crawled in a 1.6 km long tunnel dug into his cell in a maximum security prison.
He was caught again in January 2016. The Mexican government says he gave up his hideout with a “series of misses,” including an attempt to make a film about his life.
El Chapo’s lawyers have already stated that they intend to appeal the verdict.