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Home / World / El Chapo Trial: An epic narco drama unfolds in a New York courtroom

El Chapo Trial: An epic narco drama unfolds in a New York courtroom



At the booth, a chubby computer geek with a baby face from Colombia would soon describe an East German, stasi-like plan to infiltrate any Internet café in the capital of the Mexican state of Guzman.

At least one of the 18 jurors and deputies, however, nodded from time to time.

Emma Coronel, Guzman's wife, sat in the second row on the defensive side of the huge courtroom. She checked her shiny black hair for split ends and occasionally smiled at her husband as the witness narrated breathtaking failures that eventually led to the demise of the drug lord.

  Emma Coronel, Wife of Accused Mexican Drug Representative Joaquin

At the booth was an information technology specialist named Christian Rodriguez, a cooperating witness in a metallic gray suit and dark suit tie. The 32-year-old college drop-out from Colombia ran a cybersecurity startup looking after drug cartels in search of secure communication.

Over the course of two days, Rodriguez avoided eye contact with Guzman, who was wearing a blue suit on Thursday and at the end of the defense table. Rodriguez testified that he was barely 21 years old when he started an IT dream job that led to a series of nervous breakdowns and witness protection.

On the other side of the fully occupied courtroom were two couples who had arrived The prenatal hours to testify to the long awaited trial of the man who was allegedly the greatest drug trafficker in the world. You have passed several security checks. Before 7 o'clock they were standing in front of the heavily guarded courtroom in a long queue to get a limited seating.

"We have the last two places," said a smiling Rosa Alvarez, 50, who took her husband to court in New Jersey on his day off from a chemical plant.

"El Chapo is intriguing, this is a telenovela ," she said, reminiscent of the lukewarm dramas that dominate Spanish primetime television. 19659002]

"We Will Tell Our Grandchildren About It"

For almost two months, the rise and fall of the almost mythical Mexican drug king, who had risen from modest origins and allegedly put nearly 14 billion dollars in his head The deadly Sinaloa cartel was shown Monday through Thursday in the eighth-ward courtroom of Brian Cogan, eighth floor.

"This is a one-time process," said Alvarez.

"One day we will tell our grandchildren about it," said her 51-year-old husband Raul.

  Joaquin

At the booth, Rodriguez shared how he was confronted by FBI agents in 2011 and persuaded to look at his biggest client. He presented electronic keys and other data revealing the king's secret secrets. It was an almost biblical betrayal.

"They said they knew I was working for El Chapo and I was in serious trouble," Rodriguez said of the agents.

Rodriguez described Guzman as an insatiable appetite for electronic espionage.

One flaw in the plan to hack every cyber café in the northwestern Mexican city of Culiacan led 2009 to a meeting between Rodriguez and cartel members in one of the Guzman mountain huts in the state of Sinaloa, according to the technician.

Protected by more than a dozen heavily armed guards, including one with a "very large gun" that could drop a helicopter, the secret meeting was interrupted by reports of an advancing convoy of Mexican troops.

  Inside El Chapo & # 39; s; Secret Cartel Communication System

Rodriguez reported how the next three days were spent wandering the mountains with Guzman and his entourage. They crashed in small houses before going back to Culiacan.

"How did you feel?" Federal Prosecutor Andrea Goldbarg asked Rodriguez.

"I was very scared," he said.

What about Guzman?

"He was always very calm, very safe, very calm," Rodriguez answered Goldbarg.

Rodriguez said that he quickly returned to Colombia and never met with Guzman again. He tried to "distance himself" from himself and Guzman before using the cartel boss, he said.

After opening Guzman's encrypted phones and spyware for the FBI, Rodriguez fled to the United States, he testified. He had heard that Guzman's colleagues knew about his collaboration. He said he had collapsed and needed an electroshock therapy to treat his stress and trauma.

Rodriguez, who told the jury that he is on medication and on therapy, avoided seeing Guzman on Thursday when his testimony ended. Several plainclothes civil officers dragged him out of the courtroom.

Rosa and Raul Alvarez stayed until the end of the day. As they left the court, they practically rubbed their elbows with Guzman's wife.

The couple vowed to come back.

"It's like a narco movie," Rosa Alvarez said, "in real life."


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