Entertainment

21 Things You Didn’t Know About El Chapo

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has been part of the popular imagination in Mexico and all over the world for decades. The supposed leader of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel has become a celebrity due to his extravagant prison brakes, the network of tunnels he allegedly built to smuggle drugs to the United States.

El Chapo is currently undergoing a highly publicized trial in Brooklyn, as he was extradited to the United States. With this trial, as well as the release of the highly anticipated Netflix show Narcos: Mexico, where his character is expected to make a cameo, El Chapo is as relevant as ever. Here are some facts and possible facts about this elusive and mythical figure.

1. First things first, Chapo means “Shorty”

Credit: El Chapo. Netflix/Univision.

Wonder where the famous moniker came from? Guzmán stands 5 ‘6″ tall. El Chapo is quite short, so his nickname is basically Sinaloa slang for “shorty”. El Chapo is a small but commanding figure, sort of a Napoleon of the criminal underbelly.

2. He is considered by some to be a modern Robin Hood

Credit: Drug Lords: El Chapo. Netflix.

El Chapo has always been vocal about his humble origin and his despise of government corruption. He has built roads and schools in his native state of Sinaloa, which is why some consider him a working-class hero.

3. According to some sources, he began selling marihuana as a minor

Credit: Giphy. @homeofhiphop

He lived in a rural area and by 15 he was supporting his family by selling oranges, cheese and, some claim, pot. Very early on he started understanding the mechanisms of illegal narcotic trade. A self-made dealer who became one of the richest people in the planet.

4. You can buy El Chapo piñatas in Mexico

Credit: pinata. Digital image. New York Post.

Yes, you read that right. El Chapo has become a mythical figure in his home country, and popular culture manifestations like piñatas often depict political figures. After his second escape from a maximum security prison numerous piñata makers made a killing. When he was finally captured for good the piñatas were quickly updated.

5. He had a girlfriend while in prison

Credit: zulemahernandez. Digital image. Proceso.

When he was first in prison before escaping in 2001, Chapo had a girlfriend. Her name was Zulema and she was a former police officer. She was murdered upon her release from jail, possibly because of her relationship with the kingpin.

6. Chapo masks are now common for Halloween and Día de Muertos

Credit: 9d8c1960e867aa18ebf8d1237a2ea7ce57f09597. Digital image. Digital Journal.

Just like some scare kids wearing Trump masks on Halloween, Mexicans wear masks of hated politicians and other public figures. El Chapo masks are a common feature at Halloween parties and other events.

7. He once lined the road leading to his house with human bodies

Credit: Apocalypse Now. Zoetrope Studios.

According to the documentary TV show Drug Lords: El Chapo (Netflix), El Chapo liked to make quite a statement when anyone visited his property. He lined up cadavers in his driveway just to show who is boss. Sounds very Apocalypse Now to us to be honest.

8. His current wife is an Instagram celebrity

Credit: Instagram. @emmacoronela

Emma Coronel is a famous Instagramer and former beauty queen. She often posts snapshots of her daily life, messages to her imprisoned husband and even photos of her twin daughter’s lavish Barbie-themed party.

9. He expanded his cartel globally

Credit: Giphy. @netflixlat

The Sinaloa Cartel has been described as the biggest and most complex criminal organization in the planet. Part of El Chapo’s success is due to directly enter faraway markets like Australia without paying intermediaries.

10. He allegedly loves golden and diamond-incrusted guns

Credit: Pinterest. @chicana602

Guns that are custom made by skilled jewelers are a common sight in narco culture. El Chapo is said to have ordered a gun to mark his mention in the Forbes richest people in the planet list.

11. He has been married 3 times and has 9 kids

Credit: african_narco_news__cocaine_joaquín_guzmánLoera_2. Digital image. African Narco News.

He has a big heart, at least according to his turbulent love life. He has 9 kids. He first married in 1977 with Alejandrina María Salazar Hernández, and had César, Iván Archivaldo and  Jesús Alfredo. With his second wife he had Joaquín, Edgar, Ovidio and Griselda Guadalupe.  With his current wife, Emma Coronel, he has twins María Joaquina and Emali Guadalupe.

12. He bought all the red roses available in Culiacán for his son’s funeral

Credit: Giphy. @hackmylife

May 10 is Mother’s Day in Mexico and sons and daughters rush to flower shops to buy a bouquet for su jefecita. 2008 was different though, as the funeral for El Chapo’s son Edgar Guzmán was being held and his father bought all the roses available in the city. Lupillo Rivera wrote a song about the funeral:  “50 mil rosas rojas”.

13. He plans to sue Netflix and Univision over El Chapo TV show

Credit: El Chapo. Netflix/Univision.

Upon the release of the popular Univision/Netflix show, his lawyer claimed during a radio interview that: “Things are happening (in the series) that do not correspond to reality, despite the fact that there is no conviction confirming those events. That represents a grave violation of (Guzman’s) right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty”. For him, the TV show defames El Chapo and sends the wrong message prior to his trial.

14. He lined the US/Mexico border with underground tunnels

Credit: Drug Lords: El Chapo. Netflix.

Besides having escaped prison through a complex tunnel, El Chapo hired expert engineers to move his product across the border through a network of tunnels across the border. He escaped the authorities for years.

15. Forbes considered him the 63rd most powerful person in the world

Credit: Giphy. @netflixlat

Chapo’s power was not only due to his immense wealth, but also to the international reach of his operations and the alleged influence he had on local and international politics.

16. He is an internet celebrity in his own right

Credit: Heavy. Anonymous meme.

His last escape became fodder for meme creativity. The collective mind power of the web came together to create some pretty cool viral content.

17. He used multiple false names to escape the authorities

Credit: memes-fuga-chapo-guzman-004. Digital image. NYC Cafe.

Ge got quite creative. Joel Sánchez, Jorge Ramos Pérez or Sánchez, Raúl Guzmán Ruiz and Francisco Villaseñor were just some of them.

18. He is a religious man

Credit: unnamed. Digital file. El Camion.

According to a bishop, El Chapo is a believer. He professes his love to the Virgin of Guadalupe, like most Mexican Catholics, and to Malverde, an unofficial patron saint of drug traffickers. He has built multiple churches in his home state.

19. He built a fancy mausoleum for himself

Credit: mausoleo-arturo-guzman-pollo. Digital image. Union Jalisco.

Like many drug dealers in Sinaloa, El Chapo has prepared his last resting place. It is a huge mausoleum with air conditioning, TVs, beds and all the facilities so his loved ones can pay their respects when he passes away. Pictured: the 1.2 million dollar mausoleum where El Chapo’s brother Arturo was buried.

20. He was extradited just as Trump had his inauguration

Credit: el-chapo-02-as-gty-180615_hpMain_16x9_1600. Digital image. ABC News.

El Chapo made numerous social media threats to candidate Donald Trump, particularly after his controversial speeches attacking Mexican migrants. In what was seen as an inauguration gift from the Mexican government, Guzmán was handed over to US authorities a day before Trump came into power.

21. According to his lawyer, he paid off two Mexican presidents

Credit: Drug Lords: El Chapo. Netflix.

El Chapo’s trial in a US court has produced a couple of bombshell declarations. The biggest one is an accusation of corruption to presidents Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto, who have publicly denounced the cartels. According to these accounts, their campaigns were partly financed by the drug lord.

Pedro Pascal Is Going To Have An Awesome 2019 And These Are The Reasons Why

Entertainment

Pedro Pascal Is Going To Have An Awesome 2019 And These Are The Reasons Why

Slowly but surely this Chilean actor has established himself as one of the go-to celebrities for directors who want some diversity and loads of talent in their cast. We got to know him when he got his eyes popped out in Game of Thrones and the Internet couldn’t get enough of the gruesome scene. He later became the absolute star of the first three seasons of Narcos, where he played a DEA agent with tons of heart and an old-fashioned, film noir look.

2019 will be HUGE, ENORME, MAYUSCULO for this gentleman, as he will appear in The Mandalorian, a spin-off series based on the Star Wars universe.

Here are 21 things that make Pedro awesome and will attract the spotlight in 2019.

1. He is now part of the mainstream in both sides of the Atlantic

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

This is a promotional shot for his Cartier campaign. Being the face of luxury brands is one of the holy grails for actors. The high-end watchmaker liked his Latino looks and his manly disposition. We agree.

2. He is a Netflix commodity now

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

He will appear in Triple Frontier, a Netflix movie about guerrillas in South America. Pedro is one of the most regular faces in originals from the streaming giant, which will guarantee work for years to come.

3. He epitomizes the cool Latino man

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

He is not pretty like Leo DiCaprio, but more rugged like Humphrey Bogart. There are not many A-listers with those characteristics currently working in Hollywood, so the competition is thin!

4. He understands social media

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Few celebrities truly understand social media and what it can do to advance their careers. But Pascal does! Here, for example, he shares an intimate and goofy moment… and drops in a shout out to Happy Socks!

5. He can take a selfie even if a bit borrachito

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Here he is with his partner on a drunken night…. not that bad, but not that sober either! You are forgiven, Pedrito.

6. He is one of the OK guys…

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

He defends those who have to fight for their basic rights. This will expand his fan base significantly, as he is a vocal advocate for causes such as LGBT rights.

7. He stays true to his calling… damn fine acting

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Many actors forget their roots and lose their passion once they start appearing in high profile movies and TV show. Not Pedro, who works in Broadway, mainly in adaptations of Shakespeare plays like King Lear.

8. Because perritos….

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

He constantly uploads photos of him and his furry friends…. nothing better for keeping current. Que ternuritas…. 

9. He speaks out when he is fed up

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Contrary to many migrants who stop fighting for other migrants’ rights once they are in a comfortable situation, Pedro is not afraid to demand justice. The recent crisis concerning children in government detention centers proved this.

10. He is a cool AF tío

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Just look at him with his two sobrinos, chilling and being silly.

11. He partners with A-listers to demand political change

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Here he is with Mark Ruffalo, an A-lister who is a big supporter of Bernie Sanders and basically politics that oppose the current government. What a pair of superheroes!

12. He hates toxic masculinity…. PREACH

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Just read what this awesome image on his Insta account says. In the #metoo era, it is comforting to see that not all men are pendejos and that some of today’s boys will be taught right and learn to be respectful and speak for their actions.

13. Man, Prospect looks awesome

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Nothing like a good old-fashioned sci-fi movie to establish an actor’s career. Prospect showcased Pedro’s talent to work with special effects and complex plot lines, which will surely catch the eye of studio executives.

14. La familia es primero

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Pedro adores his parents and is not afraid to demonstrate it and share candid photos on social media. This always goes well with Hispanic audiences, who relate to celebrities who have strong family ties that fame and money cannot break. Here we see his dad’s birthday celebrations. Queremos pastel! 

15. Glossy magazines love him

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Pascal’s face is pretty much omnipresent by now. This is a pajama shooting for GQ. Is this anything that this heartthrob cannot pull off?

16. He understands the world because he is a migrant

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

His family is left-leaning when it comes to politics, which wasn’t such a good idea in Pinochet’s Chile. He grew up in Texas after having fled to Denmark as a child. Today’s world is global and he gets it, which translates into success in different markets.

17. He is a go-to talent for arthouse filmmakers

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Following the success of Moonlight, director Barry Jenkins directed If Beale Street Could Talk, about the writer James Baldwin. Pascal plays Pietro Alvarez, a secondary but essential role in this story of literary beauty and self-discovery. There will be Oscar buzz for this film and Pedro will surely grace the red carpet during award season.

18. People will keep watching Narcos to understand the cartel wars

Credit: Instagram. @pascalispunk

Narcos is one of the most popular Netflix franchises, and as the narrative of the show moves to Mexico, audiences will want to revisit the Colombian seasons to understand and connect the dots. There to meet them will be Pedro Pascal’s bigote and tough antics. In a rewatch we can really understand how crucial Pascal’s character, Javier, is for the moral definition of the show, as he knows that sometimes the law has to be bent in the pursuit of justice.

19. He will re-team with Wagner Moura and act alongside Gael and Penelope Cruz!

Credit:penelope_cruz_wagner_moura_and_gael_garcia_bernal_-_getty_-_h_split_2018. Digital image. HR

His Narcos counterpart and he will appear in Wasp Network, a movie about Cuban political prisoners. Gael Garcia Bernal and Penelope Cruz will also be part of this amazing cast! This is basically the creme de la creme of Hispanic talent, so it is great to see Pedro Pascal breaking bread with more established Latinos who have changed the face of the industry.

20. He was a role in the super secret Wonder Woman 1984

Credit: ww84_-_screengrab_-_h_2018. Digital image. HR.

Director Patty Jenkins shared an enigmatic image in which Pascal appears in a Trump-like suit…. we can only guess that he will be the villain in the much-awaited follow-up to the first Wonder Woman film.

21. He will star in The Mandalorian, a Star Wars spin-off TV show!

Credit: themandalorian-1280-1538697197244_1280w. Digital image. IGN
We saved the best for last. Pedrito will star in The Mandalorian, the much awaited Star Wars universe TV show that is expected to spearhead Disney’s very ambitious expansion into the streaming market. The confines of the universe are now the limit for this amazing Chilean.

El Chapo’s “Trial Of The Century” Started Last Month And Here’s Everything You Should Know About It

Things That Matter

El Chapo’s “Trial Of The Century” Started Last Month And Here’s Everything You Should Know About It

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s greatest fear became true in January 2017, when he was extradited to the United States. For years, the kingpin had escaped US courts by staying in his native Mexico and staging two spectacular escapes from prison. However, and perhaps due to a Twitter war where he threatened incoming US president Donald Trump, the Mexican authorities expedited his extradition. He has been locked in a maximum security prison in New York since then.

His long-awaited trial started on November 5 and all signs point to a very long and very complicated judicial processes. Thousands of files and pieces of evidence will be presented by the defense and the prosecutors, and chances are the jury will feel overwhelmed by all the information. The trial will highlight the contradictory public persona that El Chapo has in Mexico and the US: some see him as a ruthless criminal while others, particularly in his native state of Sinaloa, see him as a righteous messiah who is providing for his people what the Mexican State hasn’t.

Here’s 21 facts about the trial and what has happened so far.

1. His wife Emma Coronel Aspurio has been documenting the trial on Instagram

Credit: Instagram. @emmacoronela

If you want a behind-the-scenes look at the trial you can follow Emma’s Insta account, were she narrates her life in Brooklyn while her husband’s fate is determined. She constantly declares her eternal love for the capo.

2. El Chapo is defended by lawyers Jeffrey Lichtman, Eduardo Balarezo and William Púrpura 

Credit: 1541443777-0001al30i. Digital image. T13.

The experiences litigators will try to convince the jury that El Chapo is not as bad as the popular myth, the authorities and the media has made everyone believe. This will be a hard task given the trail of chaos that the Sinaloan has left in his wake.

3. According to the prosecutor El Chapo has smuggled 154,626 kilos of cocaine to the US

Credit: close-up-of-cocaine-with-rolled-up-paper-currency-and-credit-card-on-black-background-649117683-59a8771022fa3a001154df84. Digital image. Verywellmind

El Chapo started dealing with Mary Jane in his early days in the Guadalajara Cartel, but soon struck a deal with Colombian producers and started smuggling cocaine, following on the criminal legacy of Pablo Escobar.

4. The prosecution has provided 300,000 pages of documents and at least 117,000 audio recordings

Credit: dokumenti. Digital image. Univerza v.

Our head hurts just thinking about going through all that material. One of the prosecutor’s strategies is to overwhelm the jury and dump a mountain of evidence that just by its sheer volume would be hard to doubt.

5. The defense claims that the real leader of the Sinaloa Cartel is Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada

Credit: mayo_redis. Digital image. El Universal.

According to the defense, Chapo is just second in command and the criminal organization is really run by his compadre, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, who has never been caught by the authorities.

6. Key witness identities are a secret

Credit: download. Digital image. Stamp Lab.

Every day could bring a surprise, as the identities of the key witnesses and informants has been kept secret, and not even El Chapo’s legal team knows what to expect.

7. Prior to his trial, Chapo spent 23 hours a day alone in his cell

Credit: El Chapo. Netflix/Univision

Perhaps due to his past history of extravagant escapes, El Chapo has spent almost two years in complete isolation. He can only be visited by his twin 7-year-old daughters and by his lawyers. Not even his wife Emma can talk to him.

8. But he did blow a kiss to his wife in court

Credit: 636777488995708939w. Digital image. El Diario NY.

According to accounts and sketch art, El Chapo blew a kiss to his wife as soon as he lay eyes on her in court. Kinda romantic and tragic.

9. The trial will cost more than $50 million USD

Credit: EST14480006b4c8047_0. Digital image. El Diario de Juarez.

According to his lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman, El Chapo’s trial will be the most expensive in the history of legal procedures in the United States.

Read: 21 Things You Didn’t Know About El Chapo

10. Jeffrey Lichtman has also defended the Italian mafia

Credit: AENSHQ3D4L74ULIGEOG6BQ5U2Y. Digital image. NY Daily News

Lichtman is an experienced litigator who was able to somewhat successfully defend Italian mafia mogul John Gotti Jr (a kind of real life badass Tony Soprano).

11. The jury is made up by 7 women and 5 men

Credit: thejuryroom2 (1). Digital image. Pure BS Podcast.

The identities of these 12 US citizens is of course a secret. It will be an experience to remember, that’s for sure.

12. 3 juries speak Spanish, at least 3 are immigrants

Credit: post-132451-0-74369300-1358690215, Digital image. Cinemas93.org

The powers that be wanted diversity in the jury, and we know that some of them are Spanish speakers, a key characteristic as most of the witness accounts will be likely provided in Spanish.

13. A jury member was dismissed because he wanted to get Chapo’s autograph

Credit: El Chapo. Netflix/Univision

A jury member from Colombia stressed the fact that he was a bit of a fan of the drug lord, so he was obviously dismissed because there was no way he could be 100% impartial.

14. Chapo is accused of 11 criminal charges

Credit: drug_trafficking. Digital image. The Right Step.

These charges are related to drug trafficking, money laundering and the illegal use of weapons. Some of these charges are likely to be dropped as the trial progresses.

15. El Chapo’s defense has accused two former Mexican presidents of accepting bribes

Credit: 2E3C07F8-7A92-400A-8F9B-579078817BDF. Digital image. iVital.

Yes, this trial has stirred the dark waters of corruption in Mexico. The defense has accused former president Felipe Calderón and current president (he finishes on December 1st) Enrique Peña Nieto of being paid off by the almighty Sinaloa Cartel.

16. And they have obviously denied the accusations

Credit: Twitter. @FelipeCalderon

Enrique Peña Nieto’s office vehemently denied the accusations, while the ex president Felipe Calderón wrote in his Twitter account: “The accusations made by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s lawyer are totally false and bold. Not him, not the Sinaloa Cartel, no one paid me off”.

17. And he has also accused the DEA!

Credit: download. Digital image. Washington Examiner.

Chapo’s lawyer argues that Zambada is the real mastermind of the Sinaloa Cartel and that he has paid off the Mexican Army, federal policy and even the Drug Enforcement Agency from the United States. Big claim!

18. “Mayo” Zambada’s brother, Jesús Zambada, has been a key witness

Credit: 1941240-N. Digital image. La Cronica.

Already held in captivity by US authorities, Jesús Zambada a.k.a. El Rey, has been a key witness as he knows how the cartel operates inside and out.

19. And he has implicated numerous government officials

Credit: chapo-juicio-jesus-zambada-ap. Digital image. Noticieros Televisa.

When Zambada opened his mouth the political establishment in Mexico shook. He has described how bags full of cash were supposedly handed over to officials at all levels of government. He has provided a detailed list and of course everyone was quick to deny the accusations. A pretty The Godfather moment.

20. A key witness, Héctor Beltrán Leyva, died of a heart attack in Mexico

Credit: hector_beltran_leyva. Digital image. El Sol de Mexico.

El Chapo’s lawyer says that the fatal cardiac arrest was triggered by the possibility of being extradited to the United States and being a witness in the trial. He died while being transferred to another prison. His death has been the source of multiple conspiracy theories. The plot thickens!

21. Sit comfortably… the trial could last up to 4 or 5 months

Credit: NWJlYmE4ZjM2. Digital image. Nacion321

A lot of new witnesses and a mounting amount of evidence will be put in front of the jury before the trial of the century finishes. We will keep you posted.

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