After starting from the bottom of the Guadalajara Cartel, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán created his own notorious empire. He became the most powerful drug lord since Pablo Escobar, the boss of the dangerous Sinaloa Cartel. El Chapo - which means "Shorty" in Spanish - is accused of killing thousands of people and making billions of dollars from exporting cocaine, among other drugs.
But as we've learned from gangster movies, for every rise, there's a fall. Currently the 61-year-old is locked in a New York City prison, awaiting trial for money laundering and drug trafficking. Due to his notorious criminal past, which includes two successful prison escapes, he is being held in solitary confinement. But while he's living his worst life, his 29-year-old beauty queen wife is living her best life.
Emma Coronel married El Chapo in 2007, when she was eighteen years old. Although her husband got busted, his assets have yet to be seized. "There is no political will in Mexico to seize El Chapo’s or any other drug trafficker’s assets in the country,” a federal law enforcement source explained to the The New York Post. Reportedly the drug lord's family has access to "hundreds of millions" of dollars in cash and real estate.
So, Emma is flaunting her luxurious lifestyle on social media. On Instagram, she shared a photo of her seven-year-old twin girls holding designer handbags. In addition, she posted a photo of their lavish Barbie-themed party complete with a three-tiered birthday cake and enormous pink Barbie Dreamhouse. Pretty cute, until you realize it was paid for by 'blood money.' "The whole story with her is so surreal,” a retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent told the Post. "She goes around and flaunts her wealth and lifestyle in front of everyone’s face."
Maybe Emma's broadcasting her glamorous life to thumb her nose at authorities. The former beauty queen isn't allowed to visit her husband in prison, because authorities suspect she'll help him escape. (When El Chapo infamously tunneled out of prison in 2015, she was waiting at the other side.) "She’s too much of a security risk," stated the federal law enforcement source. "Given that he has escaped so many times, no one wants to take any chances that he is giving his wife directions for a new escape attempt."
So, Emma and her husband can only communicate through rigorously screened letters. El Chapo does not have internet access in prison, so you won't see him post any emoji-filled comments underneath his wife's Instagram photos. Emma has admitted the "private pictures" are legitimate, but denies that she manages her social media.
"I want to clarify that I don’t have any social media sites and that I am not the one who is posting those pages," she wrote in a letter to the Mexican press. "I never wanted to be in a situation to have my life exposed. I am not interested in exposing my life in front of millions of people who I don’t know... I ask what I have always shown everyone, and that is respect."