Joaquin El Chapo Guzman has become the most notorious drug lords since Pablo Escobar. El Chapo runs the most powerful Mexican crime syndicate, the Sinaloa Cartel. They have brought sweeping crime and tens of thousands of murders throughout Mexico. His cartel and others waring for power has created huge problems for Mexican tourism, as the country is now listed as a “no go” from the US State Department. From 2009 to 2011 Forbs ranked him Guzman as one of the most powerful men in the world, making him the most powerful man in Mexico.
El Chapo has been arrested and put in prison several times, but through bribes and threats, he has always escaped. Finally, in January 2016, Mexican marines and federal police captured him. Because they knew he would simply escape again, one year later Guzman was extradited to the United States to stand trial here.
Chapo’s lawyers filed legal docs, objecting to the federal prosecutors’ motion to keep jurors anonymous and sequester them during his trial, which includes charges of conspiracy to murder. Prosecutors clearly fear Chapo may order his crew to take out some of the jurors because of his history of violence and tampering with the judicial process.
Chapo’s lawyers beg to differ, saying sequestering the jury will “create the extremely unfair impression that he is a dangerous person from whom the jury must be protected.”
The lawyers say the charges are merely allegations of violence supported only by witnesses who are getting reduced sentences for their testimony.
The judge has yet to rule.”
It’s clear that El Chapo and his lawyers know they can’t influence the United States justice system in the same way that they are used to in Mexico. So they are hoping to find the identities of the jurors, so they can manipulate the out come of the trial by creating fear for families of the jurors. In an article this week from the New York Times, “Though he now resides in a tiny cell in Manhattan’s federal jail, incommunicado and locked in isolation, the government still considers him a threat.” No one knows whether Guzman will be able to “pull the rabbit out of the hat” this time, but I can tell you this, that is one jury I would not want to be a part of.