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terça-feira, 27 de setembro de 2011

Wife of Sinaloa drug lord Joaquin Guzman gives birth in California hospital

The young wife of Mexico's most wanted drug lord has given birth to twin girls at a hospital in California, according to a newspaper report.
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Emma Coronel, the 22-year-old wife of Joaquin Guzman, crossed the border in mid-July and delivered her daughters at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster on Aug. 15, the Los Angeles Times reported on its website Monday.
Coronel, a former beauty queen who holds U.S. citizenship, returned to Mexico after they were born. Because they were born in the U.S., her children also qualify for American citizenship.
Birth certificates listed Coronel as the mother of the girls, but the spaces for the father's name are blank. U.S. law enforcement officials, who tracked her movements even before she traveled to Lancaster, told the Times that Coronel was not arrested because there are no charges against her.
Story: Woman decapitated in Mexico for web postings While Coronel might have been able to provide useful information about Guzman's location, detaining her would not necessarily have helped to apprehend the drug kingpin because he is protected by an army of heavily armed men and tends to stay in hard-to-reach areas of Mexico's highlands, officials told the L.A. Times.
Nicknamed "El Chapo", Guzman is a multibillionaire who is widely considered the world's wealthiest drug trafficker.
Story: Families struggle to find Mexico drug war's missing Coronel is believed to be the third or fourth wife of Guzman, the 54-year-old head of Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking gang, the Sinaloa cartel. The couple met during a contest to choose the queen of the coffee and guayaba festival of Canelas in the state of Durango, according to Mexican broadcaster Univision. Coronel won the competition and married Guzman the day she turned 18 at a lavish wedding in central Mexico in 2007.
U.S. authorities have placed a $5-million bounty on Guzman's head and allege that he and the Sinaloa cartel control the majority of cocaine and marijuana trafficking into the U.S. from Mexico and Colombia.
Video: Mexico's most wanted: 'Shorty' Guzman (on this page) Under Guzman, Sinaloa has grown bloodier and more powerful, expanding eastward to the corridor between Sonora and Arizona and waging a fierce battle for Chihuahua state bordering Texas.
Guzman's operation may also be behind a surge in violence in the coastal state of Veracruz as he challenges the Zetas' dominance, the Times reported.
Guzman reached a new level of fame — or infamy — two years ago when he made Forbes magazine's list of the 67 "World's Most Powerful People." At No. 41, he was just below Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei while topping Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez — No. 67 — and France's Nicolas Sarkozy — No. 56.
The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

Video: Drug war leaves town in constant fear

Photos: Narco culture permeates Mexico, leaks across border

  1. Tijuana, June 2009: Mexico's drug culture is defined by guns and money, to be sure, but it includes sex, movies, music and even a heavy dose of religion. It also extends across the border into the U.S.

    Since 2008, photojournalist Shaul Schwarz has been documenting that culture. Presented here are snapshots of that coverage, starting with what makes it all happen: cash. This stash was confiscated and the alleged courier, seen at center, was detained by Mexican soldiers.

    "Since the beginning of President Felipe Calderon's drug war in 2006, Mexican officials have held press conferences to show detained suspects," Schwarz notes. "At the same time the violence persists" -- with nearly 35,000 people killed through 2010. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.
    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.
    Ciudad Juarez, August 2009: Three young men died in this shootout in the parking lot of a shopping mall. In the first half of that year, more than 1,000 drug war deaths were counted in Juarez alone. The city of 1.3 million has been the center of a drug turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  3. Ciudad Juarez, August 2009: Residents of a neighborhood survey the site where a body was found, presumably another victim of drug turf clashes. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  4. Mexico City, July 2009: Mexico's drug and gang culture has a strong religious streak. Thousands of devotees seen here attend a mass for Santa Muerte -- Saint Death -- a mythical figure condemned by the Catholic Church but embraced by many poor and criminal elements. This gathering is outside a shrine in Tepito, a gritty neighborhood famous for its street markets brimming with pirated and stolen merchandise.

    "Its violent and dangerous streets serve as a sort of mecca for Santa Muerte followers," Schwarz says. "Tepito is also home to the most popular Santa Muerte shrine, which sits outside a modest home. On the first day of every month, the shrine fills with followers who come bearing statuettes of the saint. Some pilgrims make their way from the subway on their knees; many smoke weed or cigars with their saints." (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  5. Mexico City, October 2009: Devotees of Saint Judas Thaddaeus inhale glue out of plastic bags to get high as they gather outside San Hipolito church during the annual pilgrimage honoring the saint.

    Judas Thaddaeus is the Catholic Church's patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes, but in Mexico he is also known as "the saint of both cops and robbers (and prostitutes), as well as one of the biggest spiritual figures for young people in Mexico City," Schwarz says. "He has become the generic patron saint of disreputable activities. His biggest – and most important shrine – is at Hipolito, one of the best preserved colonial churches." (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  6. Mexico City, October 2009: This shrine in the Colonia Doctores neighborhood pays homage to both Santa Muerte and Jesus Malverde, reputedly a bandit killed by officials in 1909.

    Jesus Malverde is revered by many as a Robin Hood who stole from the rich to give to the poor. Several dozen such shrines exist in this neighborhood and in Tepito, where the cults thrive. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  7. Tijuana, June 2009: A shrine to Santa Muerte sits above a home in the notorious Colonia Libertad neighborhood. The shrine is walled in by the old border fence separating Tijuana from San Diego. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  8. Tijuana, March 2009: A man peeks through a fence toward the U.S., studying Border Patrol movements before crossing. New fences are constantly being built to deter illegal immigrants and drug traffickers.

    In 2010, President Barack Obama ordered some 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest border and also signed a $600 million bill to fund 1,500 new Border Patrol agents, customs inspectors and law enforcement officials. But the U.S. has also had to pull the plug on a troubled $1 billion "virtual fence" project meant to better guard stretches of the border. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  9. Tijuana, June 2009: Federal police pat down a stripper during the raid of a large dance club. Several nightclubs in the notorious downtown red-light district were raided that night. Other parts of the strip continued as normal, with foreigners approaching young prostitutes as families with small children walked by with little notice and mariachis played on. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  10. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.
    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.
    Ciudad Juarez, December 2008: A woman's body lies on the autopsy table where it was discovered that she was raped and then murdered in what was made to look like a suicide.

    "Violence against women has also surged in correlation to the daily multiple uninvestigated and unpunished homicides," Schwarz says. "The coroner's office is open 24/7 and employs more than 100 doctors, technicians and investigative specialists, who cover Ciudad Juarez and northern Chihuahua state." (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  11. Tijuana, June 2009: The drug culture is often portrayed by Mexican cinema. Here director Antonio Herrera films a scene for "Vida Mafiosa" -- Mafia Life -- a low budget film glorifying the culture. "This is the only thing selling at the moment for me," Herrera said at the time as he worked to complete his seventh narco film. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  12. Tijuana, November 2010: A scene from "El Baleado" -- The Shooting Victim -- shows young men being executed shortly after smuggling drugs in from a beach. The film was produced by Baja Films Productions, a family-owned company that almost went out of business until family member Oscar Lopez, a San Diego resident, convinced his father to make a narco film. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  13. Tijuana, April 2010: Los Angeles gangsters hang out at the production of a narco film. One of the gang members (not pictured) was an extra in the film. "That was a good excuse for them to come down to TJ and party where the drugs and women are cheap," Schwarz says. "It's common for gangsters/narcos to want to appear in these films." (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  14. Mexico City, October 2009: Devotees of Saint Judas Thaddaeus gather outside San Hipolito church. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  15. Tijuana, June 2009: Young Mexicans in the Colonia Libertad neighborhood smoke pot and hang out at a spot overlooking the border with the U.S. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  16. Burbank, Calif., April 2010: Alfredo Rios, better known by his stage name "El Komander", walks down a street just outside the studio of his agent and music producer. From Sinaloa, El Komander is one of the hottest singers/composers of "Narcocorrido" songs, which glorify the drug culture.

    "He regularly performs at private parties for Sinaloa's cartel members as well as composes songs for/about them, at times even commissioned by the drug lords," Schwarz says. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  17. Tijuana, April 2010: Narcocorrido performer "The Scorpion" (whose real name is Amador Granados) shows off his belt while on the set of a Baja Films Productions movie that translated into English means: Seagulls Don't Fly Alone. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  18. Culiacan, March 2009: A man and his two sons visit Culiacan's main Jesus Malverde shrine, located across from a McDonald's and near the state legislature.

    "The narco culture is becoming more and more mainstream and the shrine draws people of all walks of life," Schwarz says. "Many visitors leave Polaroid photos with pithy notes giving thanks to Malverde."

    "The image of his mustachioed face, bedecked with a neckerchief, a gold chain with a pistol charm around his neck, and a large belt-buckle with a pistol around his waist can now be found all over the U.S.," Schwarz adds. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  19. El Monte, Calif., April 2010: The Bukanas De Culiacan band gets ready to perform during the launch event of "Movimiento Alterado," a new form of Narcocorrido gaining popularity. "Narco music clubs are mushrooming all over L.A., and up and down the West Coast," Schwarz says.
    "It's a social movement of people who came from nothing and dream of a chance out," said Joel Vazquez, the band's manager. "It's a lot like hip hop or gangsta rap, except it's Mexican culture, not black." (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  20. Pico Rivera, Calif., April 2010: Partyers use the bathroom at El Rodeo Night Club, one of the many big Narcocorrido clubs in the Los Angeles area. "The cross-over music scene and culture is generating hybrid fashion trends and lifestyle ties between the Sinaloa mainstream, in Mexico and the Mexican-American mainstream culture in L.A.," Schwarz says. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  21. Ciudad Juarez, August 2009: Police protect a crime scene where two bodies were found in the desert near the border with the U.S. Much of Mexico's drug violence is due to turf wars for control of the border routes. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  22. Culiacan, July 2009: The Jardines del Humaya Cemetery hosts many grave sites dedicated to drug traffickers. Some are two- and three-stories tall; many have bulletproof glass, Italian marble and spiral iron staircases.

    "Inside the mausoleums are pictures of the deceased, often men in their 20s and 30s, and signs of Santa Muerte and Jesus Malverde," says Schwarz. "And, as in many of the cemeteries found in the drug-war inflicted Mexico, rows of freshly dug graves await their new tenants." (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  23. Apatzingan, April 2010: This home hadn't been touched in the two years after it was shot at and burned down by soldiers in a deadly attack on members of the La Familia drug cartel. Many of its leaders were born in this town, and in December 2010 one of its founders was killed by soldiers there. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  24. The religion

    Culiacan, July 2009: A young man makes his way to the shrine of Jesus Malverde. Culiacan is the capital of the northwestern state of Sinaloa, long a hot bed of drug cultivation. For decades traffickers have worshipped at the shrine, helping to spread Malverde's fame. "Followers call Malverde the Robin Hood of Mexico," Schwarz says. "Critics say he has become a symbol of crime. Drug traffickers claim him as their own." (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  25. Tultitlan, November 2009: Santa Muerte devotees attend a service in the courtyard of a church with a 65-foot-tall statue of the mythical figure. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  26. Angeles National Forest, Calif., August 2009: Santa Muerte worshipers gather in a creek just outside Los Angeles. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  27. Ciudad Juarez, August 2009: This bridge to El Paso, Texas, is one of the legal border crossings into the U.S. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  28. Tijuana, March 2009: Mexico's military shows off the results of a raid on a party: assault weapons and the arrests of 58 people. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  29. Culiacan, July 2009: A new inmate kisses his wife goodbye as their daughter cries.

    The Culiacan prison is notorious for violence and riots. "Security forces most often stay outside just along the perimeter of the prison and do not go in to the living quarters themselves," Schwarz says. "Weed, other drugs and cell phones along with statues of saints are common inside this typical Mexican jail." (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  30. Tijuana, March 2009: A drug addict sits in a tent where he lives along the border canal with the U.S. "The border canal has become a regular spot for junkies to use heroin," Schwarz says. "While the Mexican police do nothing, the U.S Border Patrol are just out of jurisdiction." (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  31. Mexico City, October 2009: Jose Garcia Pichardo prays and smokes a cigar at the Santa Muerte altar in his bedroom. Pichardo said he once was a drug dealer and that two years earlier the Santa saved him from the police. (Shaul Schwarz / Reportage by Getty Images)
  32. Ciudad Juarez, August 2009: Women spread flour to soak up blood where a young man was murdered. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the border city that year, and another 3,000 in 2010.

    "As a photojournalist I have covered conflicts and wars since 1996, but Mexico’s present situation haunts me like no other," Schwarz says. "While death statistics have been documented ad nauseum, far less has been said about the broader social reality created by the drug trade. As I continue to cover this story that seems to have no end in sight, I plan to focus not only on the harsh existence in border towns, but on the culture created for millions of Mexicans and Americans inevitably involved in or affected by the drug trade and a desire for “narco luxury.” (Shaul Schwarz/ Reportage By Gett / Reportage by Getty Images)

Wife of fugitive Mexican drug lord gives birth in L.A. County

Joaquin 'Chapo' Guzman's wife, Emma Coronel, gave birth Aug. 15 to twin girls at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, according to birth records and a senior U.S. law enforcement official.

Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman
Fugitive drug lord Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman's wife, who is a U.S. citizen, gave birth to twin girls in a Los Angeles County hospital in August. (Heriberto Rodriguez / Reuters / June 10, 2000)

The spaces for "Name of Father" are blank. But the L.A. County birth certificates list the mother, who happens to be the young wife of a highly sought-after drug lord, Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman.

Emma Coronel traveled to Southern California in mid-July and gave birth Aug. 15 to twin girls at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, according to birth records and a senior U.S. law enforcement official.

Turns out Coronel, a 22-year-old former beauty queen, holds U.S. citizenship, which entitles her to travel freely to the United States. By being born in California, and to a mother who is an American citizen, her little girls also have U.S. citizenship.

Guzman, 54, the multibillionaire fugitive head of the Sinaloa cartel, married Coronel the day she turned 18 in a lavish wedding in the highlands of central Mexico in 2007. She is believed to be his third or fourth wife and is a niece of Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, a onetime partner of Guzman who was killed in a July 2010 shootout with the Mexican army.

U.S. federal agents apparently kept tabs on Emma Coronel even before she crossed the border at Calexico, through her hospital stay and until she left the country to return to Mexico. Although her husband tops most-wanted lists on both sides of the border, Coronel was not arrested because there are no charges against her, the law enforcement official said.

Although she no doubt could have provided useful information on her husband's whereabouts, drug agents have said the problem with apprehending Guzman has less to do with finding him and more with how Mexican troops can seize him. He surrounds himself with enormous bands of well-armed security and tends to stick to isolated, hard-to-reach mountainous regions, agents say.

Coronel's presence in the Los Angeles area and elsewhere in Southern California did not seem to attract attention. At the Antelope Valley Hospital, a spokeswoman declined to comment, citing privacy rules.

Birth certificates show the girls were born at the Lancaster facility at 3:50 and 3:51 p.m.

In the spaces for the mother's signature, Coronel opted to print her name.

Guzman has children from earlier marriages. Mexican authorities seized one son, Ivan, then 21, on drug charges in 2005 but released him three years later. Another, Edgar, 22, was shot to death in 2008 in Sinaloa.

The elder Guzman, whose nickname means "Shorty," is about 5 feet, 6 inches tall. He was arrested in 1993 but escaped prison in 2001 by bribing guards to hide him in a laundry cart.

U.S. authorities have placed a $5-million bounty on Guzman's head and allege he and the Sinaloa cartel now control the bulk of cocaine and marijuana traffic into the U.S. from Mexico and Colombia. Guzman's forces last year moved into Mexico's northeastern shoulder around the border state of Tamaulipas, and he may be behind a ferocious push by gunmen into the coastal Veracruz state to challenge the Zetas gang that dominates there. Scores of people have either been killed or gone missing in recent days.

Coronel is said to have first caught Guzman's eye when she entered the regional Miss Coffee and Guava beauty contest. He made his interest known, and she was crowned queen of the pageant. They married a few months later.

Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman's wife has twins in US

Joaquin Guzman in La Palma prison in Juarez, Mexico (July 1993) Joaquin Guzman is the head of the Sinaloa drugs cartel in Mexico

Related Stories

The wife of Mexico's most wanted drug baron, Joaquin Guzman, has given birth to twin girls at a hospital in the US.
Emma Coronel had her daughters at Antelope Valley Hospital in northern Los Angeles on 15 August, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is the head of Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking gang, the Sinaloa cartel.
Ms Coronel, a former beauty queen who holds US citizenship, returned to Mexico after the twins were born.
By being born in California, the children will also have US citizenship.
Birth certificates listed 22-year-old Ms Coronel as the mother of the girls, but the spaces for the father's name were left blank, said the LA Times.
US law enforcement officials, who tracked her movements even before she travelled to the hospital in Lancaster in mid-July, said she was not arrested because there were no charges against her.
'Shorty' Ms Coronel is believed to be the third or fourth wife of Guzman, the 54-year-old multibillionaire.
The couple married on her eighteenth birthday at a lavish wedding in the highlands of central Mexico in 2007.
The US authorities have placed a $5m (£3.25m) bounty on Guzman's head, alleging that he and his cartel control the majority of cocaine and marijuana trafficked into the US from Mexico and Colombia.
Guzman's nickname El Chapo means Shorty - he is about 5ft 6 in (1.67m) tall.
Guzman made Forbes magazine's list of the 67 World's Most Powerful People two years ago. At number 41, he was just below Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


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