Emma Coronel, the 22-year-old American wife of "one of history’s biggest and most sought-after drug lords," Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, had the babies at Antelope Valley Hospital on Aug. 15. The birth certificates leave blank the name of the father, but of course the girls are now Americans by birth. Tracy Wilkinson and Ken Ellingwood break the story from Mexico City on the L.A. Times' foreign news blog, World Now:
Guzman, 54, the multibillionaire fugitive head of the Sinaloa cartel, married Coronel the day she turned 18 at a lavish wedding in the highlands of central Mexico in 2007. She is believed to be his third or fourth wife and is a niece of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, a one-time partner of Guzman who was killed in July 2010 in a shootout with the Mexican army.
U.S. federal agents apparently kept tabs on Emma Coronel even before she crossed the border at Calexico, through her hospital stay and until she left the country to return to Mexico. Although her husband tops most-wanted lists on both sides of the border, Coronel was not arrested because there are no charges against her, the law enforcement official said.
While she no doubt could have provided useful information on her husband’s whereabouts, drug agents have said the problem with apprehending Guzman has less to do with finding him and more with how Mexican troops can seize him. He surrounds himself with enormous bands of well-armed security and tends to stick to isolated, mountainous regions that are difficult to reach, agents say.
U.S. authorities, says the blog post, "have placed a $5-million bounty on Guzman’s head and allege he and the Sinaloa cartel now control the bulk of cocaine and marijuana trafficking into the U.S. from Mexico and Colombia."