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What Happened To El Chapo's Family And Empire After The Last Time He Was Caught

Updated February 22, 2021 38.9k views14 items

The capture of infamous crime lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán is one of the biggest blows to organized crime of the 21st century. El Chapo's capture threw his family and empire into a state of chaos. While Guzmán may be incarcerated, that doesn't mean the Sinaloa cartel has ceased its operations. Internal conflict, rival cartels, and law enforcement agencies are putting the squeeze on this once-untouchable syndicate.

But it's not over for the Guzmán family. Many of his children are living relatively normal lives, and his wife's public and flashy lifestyle has caught the attention of the tabloids. His sons are consolidating power within the cartel, and there is always the possibility El Chapo will try to escape from the supermax penitentiary in which he's likely to be housed. In any case, the post-Chapo history of the Guzmán family is as rich and horrifying as its leader's reign. El Chapo is in jail, but the ripples of his numerous exploits will be felt for years to come. 

  • 'Los Chapitos' Have Taken Over Their Father's Empire

    In an interview with Sean Penn, El Chapo revealed that his son, Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, would take over the Sinaloa cartel when he is gone. Ivan and his brother, Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, are now in charge of the organization. The two boys, known as "Los Chapitos," have a wildly different style from their father, who grew up with nothing and ran the Sinaloa cartel with a calm ruthlessness.

    His sons, on the other hand, were born with silver spoons in their mouths. They are more flashy and aggressive than their father, with none of the street smarts that helped him rise through the ranks of the Sinaloa cartel. Reports say members of the cartel are wary of the boys and do not believe they are fit to lead. 

  • His Cartel Temporary Split Into Two Factions Vying For Power

    While El Chapo established a chain of succession setting up his son Ivan as the next leader of the cartel, his capture threw all of those plans into disarray. The boys have proven unpopular with many of their father's subordinates, in part due to their luxurious upbringing and lack of "honor."

    Infighting began shortly after El Chapo's capture, as Los Chapitos vied to take control of their father's empire. They were met with resistance from Dámaso López Núñez, El Chapo's right-hand, who formerly worked as a police officer and security guard. Núñez went behind the brothers' backs and attempted to work with the Jalisco New Generation cartel, a staunch rival of the Sinaloa cartel.

    The feud ended when Núñez was caught in Mexico City, leaving Los Chapitos as the undisputed kingpins.

  • His Current Wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, Has Made Appearances To Defend Her Husband, And Was Arrested In February 2021

    Emma Coronel Aispuro has been vocal since the imprisonment of her husband in 2016, even traveling to New York to support him in person during his trial. Before El Chapo's extradition from Mexico to the United States, Coronel Aispuro traveled to Washington, DC, to speak with the international group Organization of American States. She made a case that her husband was receiving unfair and harmful treatment while in custody, and she made similar claims about his treatment in the United States after he was extradited. 

    Coronel Aispuro was a near-constant fixture in the courtroom during her husband's trial. She attended the majority of his hearings, and she has told reporters that her husband is suffering from severe depression due to his incarceration. She has been unable to visit her husband in prison, but she is allowed to write to him. Coronel Aispuro continues to insist her husband is a good man who is being mistreated.

    On February 22, 2021, Coronel Aispuro was arrested at Dulles International Airport on drug trafficking charges.

    According to a release from the US Department of Justice, she is charged for allegedly importing cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana into the US. Court documents said Coronel Aispuro "grew up with knowledge of the narcotics trafficking industry" and "understood the scope of the Sinaloa Cartel’s drug trafficking." The documents also said Coronel Aispuro relayed messages on behalf of Guzman when he was trying to avoid being captured and even when she visited him in prison in Mexico. 

    She and her husband were married on her 18th birthday, July 2, 2007.

  • El Chapo's Eldest Daughter Started Several Businesses In California

    Rosa Isela Guzmán Ortiz, the eldest daughter of El Chapo, is living a relatively normal life. She's an American citizen living in an undisclosed location in California, where she once owned multiple businesses and raises her children. Contrary to media reports, Guzmán Ortiz swears her father is not the criminal millionaire people think he is. In an article with The Guardian, Guzmán Ortiz claimed her father had built his business legitimately with the help of the Mexican government, and that his fall was due to a betrayal by the government and rival cartels. 

    With the help of her father, Guzmán Ortiz started several successful businesses in the US, including car washes, beauty salons, and coffee shops. Her father's startup money drew the attention of the FBI, who began investigating her businesses for potential money laundering. She was briefly detained and held on a $50,000 bond, and her companies are no longer officially under her ownership.