El Chapo: His Wife's First Interview

Emma Colonel Aispuro, the 26 year old beauty queen wife of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, gave an extensive interview to journalist Anabel Hernandez. It aired on Telemundo last night.

The purpose of the interview: Emma says she fears for El Chapo's life due to the unbearable conditions under which he is now being held.

The close captioning on Xfinity was pretty bad, but here's what I understood her to say [This is from memory, I didn't take notes during it]: [More...]

She discussed their wedding, their daughters, and El Chapo. She described him as very intelligent and knowledgeable (due to his life experience -- and despite his lack of formal education.) She said he is gentle, respectful (especially towards women) and she is in love with him. If extradited, she and her daughters will likely move here (she and her daughters were born in the U.S. so citizenship is not an issue.)

She said there were American agents at the police station where she was taken after El Chapo's 2014 Mazatlan arrest. She couldn't say how many -- and she didn't say they were present at the hotel...only the police station after his arrest.

She said El Chapo was struck several times in the car after his arrest. ( I think she was referring to the Mazatlan arrest, but I don't remember now.)

El Chapo is under 24/7 supervision and not allowed to sleep more than two hours before another count is conducted. He's not allowed to go to the toilet alone. Dogs are kept near him (think Guantanamo.)

She doesn't think Mexico is trying to kill him.

She also didn't know El Chapo was a drug trafficker -- he didn't discuss his business matters at home and he was never agitated.

She didn't emote a great deal but was very composed and seemed honest to me, except perhaps when discussing her brother's alleged participation in El Chapo's July escape . Mexico says he was in the tunnel the night of the escape and on one of the two planes that flew out of San Juan del Rio, Querétaro the night of his escape. (Although maybe she was saying he wasn't involved in the tunnel construction, not the escape plot.) She was similarly evasive about her jailed father (who was arrested in Mexico for drug trafficking three years ago and hasn't been tried yet. Another brother was arrested with her dad.

She totally dismissed the idea that El Chapo was romantically interested in Kate del Castillo or vice versa. She points out the first time they met was the Sean Penn encounter described in Rolling Stone (that the Mexican authorities were well aware of at the time since they filmed del Castillo and Penn at the airport and getting in the car to go meet El Chapo.

She agreed the Mexican government had to be complicit in El Chapo's escape but she said she never saw El Chapo meet with a politician and the Mexcian authorities had never done anything to help him. She also said she does not think El Chapo ever met with the DEA.

She wants her children (now age 4) to have a normal life and receive an education. She hopes El Chapo will be released some day. She thinks the Mexican Government has manufactured his status as the world's largest drug trafficker and denies the stories of his vast wealth. She said they lived a pretty simple, non-extravagant life.

She said Mexican authorities have not asked to question her, and while she always got held up longer than others at the border when crossing into the U.S., no one ever asked her where El Chapo was or any questions about him. Her daughters, who were born in L.A., have not returned to the U.S. since she took them back to Mexico after they were born. She returned by herself to get their birth certificates.

She said her wedding was a simple affair, attended only by her family. El Chapo's family was not there. She said she and El Chapo were friends first, and then became romantically involved. She didn't see him for months after she first met him at a dance in her home time.

I'm surprised she gave the interview to Anabel Hernandez. Hernandez has been very critical of El Chapo in her reporting. Perhaps it was because Anabel is even more critical of the corruption in the Mexican government.

Emma also denied reports that the other "Colonel" -- the now deceased Ignacio Coronel Villarreal -- is her uncle.

Anabel did not ask about (and Emma never mentioned) El Chapo's partner and co-leader of the Sinaloa Federation -- the still at large Ismael Zambada Garcia -- or El Chapo's other two sons (Ivan and Alfredo Guzman Salazar) who are also under Indictment in the U.S. and still at large. Nor did she disuss Zambada-Garcia's three sons who have been arrested, at least two of whom are cooperating in the U.S. (Jesus Vicente Niebla-Garcia and Serafin Zambada-Garcia.)

The point is not that El Chapo deserves such treatment -- no human being does. The point is that Mexico must afford El Chapo the same rights afforded all inmates, including the right to counsel. I'll be interested to see the ratings for the interview in Mexico.

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