Torture, prison, and death. The fate of El Chapo Guzman women

This was the fate of the women who were partners of the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, 'El Chapo' Guzmán: persecution, torture, imprisonment, and even death.

Torture, prison, and death. The fate of El Chapo Guzman women
Women partners of the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. Image: Agencies

This was the fate of the women who were partners of Sinaloa Cartel leader 'El Chapo' Guzmán: persecution, torture, jail, and even death.  Being the partner of the world's most famous drug lord means having a place in criminal history, but in many cases, it also means having to pay a high price.

If there is one defining characteristic of Mexico's Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, it is that he is an extremely womanizing man. Not for nothing did criminologist Monica Ramirez, who had the opportunity to interview him on several occasions, describe him as a man "addicted to women. Before the criminologist, he formally recognized 10 couples, some of which had very unfavorable outcomes: they were arrested or are under the gaze of the highest echelons of the U.S. Police, although there was also a case in which one of his girlfriends was brutally tortured before dying.

Zulema and 'El Chapo' Guzmán, love between the prison bars that ended in tragedy

Her body was found in the trunk of a car on December 17, 2008, the footprints indicate that before being murdered she was tortured and shows the letters zeta that marked her breasts, back, abdomen, and buttocks. Her name was Zulema Yulia Hernández, a former inmate who during her stay in the high security prison of Puente Grande, in the state of Jalisco, had been the lover of the world's most famous drug trafficker, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera.

There are different versions of her death, but the most talked about is that she was murdered by the Zetas Cartel, which at the time was disputing territories with Guzmán Loera, and that is why her body was marked (with the letter Z). Those who know the subject agree that Zulema's love for the drug lord was never in doubt, even though their romance lasted as long as Guzmán Loera was in the same prison and that, in the end, he used her as a kind of "gift" for other inmates of Puente Grande, the prison from which he first escaped on January 19, 2001.

Lucero Sánchez, the 'Chapodiputada'

Known as the 'Chapodiputada', she was removed from the Chamber of Deputies of the Congress of the Union, on June 13, 2017, before a process against her for the crime of falsification of documents. This is because she allegedly used a false voter's credential, in the name of Devany Vianey Villatoro Pérez, with whom she allegedly visited 'El Chapo' in 2014 when he was held in the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (Cefereso) number 1 of ' El Altiplano', before his escape occurred in June 2015.

She was detained in the United States in June 2017, after crossing over to seek asylum in this country. Sanchez, who said she met Guzman in 2010, went on to become a legislator in Sinaloa. While she was seeing him, Guzmán was married to Emma Coronel, with whom he has two daughters. Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez recounted during the drug lord's trial the sentimental relationship she had while buying marijuana from him at the same time.

María Alejandrina Salazar Hernández, the real wife of 'El Chapo'

El Chapo "and María Alejandrina were reportedly married in Culiacán, Sinaloa, when Guzmán Loera was 20 years old and she was 19. The two married in 1977 and raised Iván Archivaldo, Jesús Alfredo, Alejandrina Giselle and César Guzmán Salazar. Jesús Alfredo, better known as El Alfredito, is on the DEA's most-wanted list. The United States included her in its list of people with whom it is forbidden to do any type of business. María Alejandrina was accused of participating in the money laundering network of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Griselda Guadalupe Lopez, the second wife

Griselda married El Chapo in the mid-1980s. He had four children with her: Joaquin, who is known to have studied business administration; Edgar, executed in 2008 in Culiacan; Ovidio and Griselda Guadalupe. Lopez Perez, who also goes by the name Karla Perez Rojo, was arrested in Mexico in 2010 because her financial records showed higher income than reported to the Treasury, but she was released after giving her statement to the Public Prosecutor's Office.

Emma Coronel, the current wife of 'El Chapo'

She is the current wife of the drug lord and since her rise to fame she has stood out for her particular style and her unconditional support for the drug trafficker. She was born on July 2, 1989, in California, but it was in Mexico where she grew up. Until she was 17, her life was like that of any other young woman. But things changed forever after she was crowned Queen of the Coffee and Guava Festival, catching the eye of Joaquin Guzman.

Although she had a boyfriend at the time, El Chapo conquered her with "details" and, finally, she "fell in love". At the age of 18, she married Guzmán Loera, who was 52 at the time. Four years later, their twin daughters María Joaquina and Emalí Guadalupe were born in the United States. A remarkable characteristic of Emma is that she has patiently endured every scandal that has linked her husband to other women.

Until recently, she had been acquitted of all the accusations her husband had received in a New York court, but on Wednesday, January 23, she was charged for the first time with participating in a felony. Dámaso López Núñez, alias El Licenciado, said the former beauty queen helped coordinate Chapo's escape from the Altiplano prison in July 2015.

The former partner of the Sinaloa Cartel leader said Emma gave him "instructions" to outwit authorities at the Altiplano prison, from where he escaped through a tunnel leading to his cell. According to his statement, Coronel spoke with other cartel members to coordinate the escape and may have even infiltrated the prison with a GPS watch to guide the diggers.

El Chapo's girlfriend María del Rocío del Villar Becerra, ended up in a cell for the mentally ill in a maximum-security men's prison

Of the long list of wives, girlfriends, and lovers of the Mexican drug lord, little is said about the woman with whom he was arrested in 1993. In June 1993, Mexican authorities were celebrating the arrest in Guatemala of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán Loera, then a potential drug trafficker who was part of the Sinaloa Cartel's ringleaders.

Guzmán Loera was arrested along with five other people, including a woman. Although it was known at the time that his official partner was Estela López García, in Guatemala he was accompanied by María del Rocío del Villar Becerra, who was identified as the drug trafficker's girlfriend and was accused of probable responsibility in the commission of the crime against health, in the form of cocaine possession and the psychotropic drug known as Diazepam.

At the time, Guzmán Loera was wanted for the murder of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, on May 24 of that year at the Guadalajara airport, who lost his life in a crossfire between the organized crime groups of the Arellano Félix brothers from Tijuana and the Sinaloa Cartel. The spectacular nature of what was Chapo's first capture took the attention away from his accomplices, including the woman who can be briefly seen in a video of the time when she and the other detainees pass behind Guzmán Loera as he is presented to the media.

On page 154 of her book Los señores del narco, journalist Anabel Hernández devotes a small space to the woman, who, she says, is originally from Aguamilpa, in the state of Nayarit, where El Chapo then had a center of operations.

Little is also known about her life, except that in April 1994, a mission of representatives of various human rights organizations discovered that María del Rocío was the only woman in the maximum-security prison of Almoloya de Juárez, where El Chapo and others of the country's most dangerous criminals were being held.

In reporting on the visit of this commission, the magazine Proceso published that María del Rocío was locked up in a cell that was formerly used for mentally ill people. Although she was guarded by guards the whole time, she told the visitors that she hardly spoke to anyone or left her cell, where she spent most of her time reading.

She had just finished open primary school and was preparing for high school. She said that studying was the only thing that motivated her. "In my house, my father did not allow me to study; here I can do it and that makes me feel a little better. Although she said she was treated well in prison, she said she felt "very lonely" because her family did not have money to visit her.

Her name appears in the journal of the House of Representatives debates of June 24, 1993, when the system of maximum security prisons in Mexico was discussed. During the session, it was pointed out that Rocio had been unjustly confined in a men's prison. "It constitutes a violation of human rights and of the constitutional norms outlined in Article 18 of the Magna Carta, which states 'Women shall serve their sentences in places other than those designated for men'.

"To this end, as a woman and as a member of parliament, I demand the investigation of this violation and its immediate reparation. It is not feasible to fight crime with a crime, nor to substitute rationality with an absurd and arbitrary exercise of public force," said then legislator Luisa Alvarez Cervantes.

When he was captured, Chapo's idea was to continue toward El Salvador, where he would have to dispatch a shipment of cocaine to the United States and buy assault rifles, according to a report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). However, he was arrested and handed over to Mexico.

Later, from Almoloya, El Chapo was transferred to the maximum-security prison in Puente Grande, Jalisco, where he met Zulema Hernández, another woman who was on his list of lovers. María del Rocío was already behind him. He had a long relationship with Zulema that lasted while they were both imprisoned in Puente Grande, even conceiving a child, but Zulema had a miscarriage.

Like María del Rocío, the drug trafficker left Zulema behind when he escaped from prison in 2001. However, when she was released, he made sure they would remain in touch, and even that relationship cost him his life, as she was found dead with traces of torture and with the letter Z marked on different parts of her body, a message from the Zetas Cartel, rivals of the Sinaloa Cartel.