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'El Chapo,' wife show solidarity as ex-mistress testifies for second day

Lucero Sanchez Lopez, the former mistress of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, appeared in a standard-issue blue prison smock to complete last week's testimony about her affair with the alleged leader of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel.

Joaquin  "El Chapo" Guzman Loera arrives Jan.

Joaquin  "El Chapo" Guzman Loera arrives Jan. 19, 2017, on Long Island to face trial on drug charges in New York. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Handout

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera and his wife, Emma, sported matching burgundy-colored velvet jackets in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday morning in an apparent show of solidarity as an ex-mistress took the stand for her second day of testimony against the alleged drug lord at his cocaine trafficking trial.

The natty outfit contrasted with the conservative look Guzman has displayed since the trial began in November. His entrance in a velvet smoking jacket with a dark red silk handkerchief and open collared white shirt, followed by Emma Coronel Aispuro’s arrival in a similar outfit, drew gasps.

The synchronized sartorial display came as Lucero Sanchez Lopez, Guzman’s 29-year-old former mistress, appeared in a standard-issue blue prison smock to complete last week’s testimony about her affair with the alleged leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel.

Sanchez, who on Friday described escaping a 2014 raid by Mexican marines through a storm sewer with a frantic, naked Guzman and two others, said that after racing 1 1/2 kilometers underground her lover was so desperate to get to clothes and safety when they surfaced that he could barely wait for a henchman to pick him up.

“We were there waiting,” she recalled. “He was desperate. He was saying to the guy we would have to steal a car.”

Guzman was captured a week later, and Sanchez said her career as a state legislator in Sinaloa came to an end in disgrace when he summoned her to visit him in prison using a fake ID in 2015 to discuss “personal” matters, and pictures of her at the prison — appearing pregnant — were leaked to the press.

She was arrested trying to enter the United States in 2017, and although she had little to do with Guzman’s drug business she was charged with conspiracy to import cocaine, carrying a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. She agreed to cooperate in hopes of leniency, she said, and reuniting with her children.

“That is the truth,” said Sanchez, who began her life in a poor family, selling empanadas on the street at the age of 8, marrying at 16 and having kids before meeting Guzman when she was 21. She was not asked if she had any of his children.

Jurors on Tuesday also heard testimony from another informant, Damaso Lopez Nunez, a lawyer and former manager for Guzman. Lopez described the alleged kingpin’s role in ordering several murders involving both rivals and aides.

He testified about an exchange of texts with Guzman describing a “favor” a mayor in the state of Baja California Sur had requested of the cartel — getting rid of a local police officer who was causing trouble for her plans to seek higher office.

Guzman said “she is the favorite and we should do her the favor,” advising that the hit should occur “when the cop is leaving his home” and should look like “a revenge from some gangbanger.”

“Don’t be seen,” he added, according to an English translation of the text. “Not with a rifle but with a pistol so it doesn’t look violent.”

Guzman was extradited to Brooklyn last year, and is charged with using violence and corruption to control an organization that smuggled $14 billion of cocaine as well as other drugs into the United States over 25 years.

The trial resumes on Wednesday. Prosecutors now say they expect to rest their case, which began in November, in the next week. Defense lawyers have kept the door open for possible testimony by Guzman.


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