Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán has been found guilty on 10 federal charges, ranging from drug trafficking to conspiracy to commit murder. At his sentencing hearing, which is expected to take place in June, he’ll be facing life behind bars in the United States.
But what happened in the trial of one of the most notorious cartel bosses of modern times? Throughout the marathon three months, there were dozens of people called to the stand — from federal narcotics agents who had tracked him through Mexico, to former members of the cartel who had become cooperating government witnesses.
Throughout the brutal testimony, Guzmán’s attorneys tried to pin the crimes on Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada García, El Chapo’s longtime co-leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, but ultimately, the prosecution prevailed, convincing a jury of 12 that El Chapo was guilty.
During the trial, longtime Chapo watchers learned shocking new details about the cartel head, painting an entirely new picture: though he has been memorialized in popular culture across the U.S. and Mexico as a notorious drug kingpin — a reputation he has helped shape — the trial gave new insight into his downfall. What emerged was a portrait of a deeply vindictive man, whose emotion and jealousy invited government scrutiny, and eventually led to his downfall.