Latest News

El Chapo defence says Sinaloa cartel bribed Mexico presidents

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Drug baron Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's defence told his New York trial Tuesday that his Sinaloa cartel bribed presidents of Mexico hundreds of millions of dollars, painting the absent co-defendant as the real criminal.

Opening statements finally got underway after two jurors were dismissed from the original line-up, forcing lawyers and the judge to re-interview potential candidates before a full panel could be sworn in.

Guzman, one of the world's most notorious criminals who was extradited to the United States in January 2017 after twice escaping from prison in Mexico, faces 11 trafficking, firearms and money laundering charges in what is expected to be a more than four-month trial.

But defence lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman alleged that Guzman's co-defendant who remains at large, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, was the real culprit — not Guzman, whom prosecutors say spent a quarter of a century smuggling cocaine.

"The truth is he (Guzman) controlled nothing, Mayo Zambada did," Lichtman told the US federal court in Brooklyn.

Zambada, he alleged, bribed everybody, "including the very top, the current president of Mexico and the former," he added in reference to Mexico's outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto and his predecessor, Felipe Calderon.

"Mayo can get people arrested and get the Mexican army and police to kill who he wants," Lichtman added.

Instead, his client, who has been in solitary confinement since arriving in New York, is a "scapegoat."

"Why does the Mexican government need a scapegoat? Because they're making too much money being bribed by the leaders of drug cartels."

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon