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Wife of El Chapo throws twin daughters lavish Barbie-themed birthday while drug lord husband awaits trial

September 21, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Wife of El Chapo throws twin daughters lavish Barbie-themed birthday while drug lord husband awaits trial

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The 7-year-old twin daughters of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman were thrown a lavish Barbie-themed birthday party most young girls could only dream about, equipped carnival rides, pink balloons and a room filled with gold chandeliers and a rosé-colored throne.

Pictures and videos of the elaborate party were posted on Instagram this week, giving Mexicans a look into the lives of some of the country’s most controversial and richest people in Mexico, according to the L.A. Times.

Guzman, the former head of the Sinaloa cartel, was apprehended in Mexico in 2014 and was extradited to New York three years later, where he is about to face trial on drug trafficking and murder charges. The federal indictment against El Chapo also looks to forfeit $14 billion in drug profits and other illicit proceeds.

Efforts by U.S. Treasury Department and Mexican authorities to track down and seize Guzman’s assets have largely been failures. That seemed apparent from the Instagram photos, in which his family appeared to be quite comfortable.

Guzman’s wife, Emma Coronel, threw the bash for her daughters and was pictured in 4-inch heels in front of a fake pink mansion and a long table filled with flowers, sweets, and a huge birthday cake.

Pictures from the extravaganza, which was thrown at what appeared to be a real mansion in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa, were posted by the event photographer.


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Cumpleaños de mis princesas👩‍👧‍👧❤️

A post shared by Emma Coronel Aispuro (@emmacoronela) on

“Celebrating #MaximumElegance,” photographer Antonio Tizoc stated in one caption. In another, he celebrated the twins, Emali and Maria Joaquina, and called them “princesses.”

Responses to the pictures varied from amused to angry.

“Spectacular!” one user wrote on Instagram. “Beautiful!” another said.

“Pure elegance!!” a third person wrote, and added: “Pity where the money came from.”

In an interview, Tizoc said Coronel allowed him to post images of the party, but he said he was forbidden from exposing other details, including who was in attendance.

Tizoc, who is frequently commissioned to take pictures at the elaborate quinceañeras and weddings of Sinaloa’s richest families, said he was disturbed that some had criticized his pictures.

“They attacked me,” he stated. “In Culiacan it’s normal to have parties like this. Rich and poor, we like big parties.”


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#barbiestyle 🎀😍

A post shared by Emma Coronel Aispuro (@emmacoronela) on

Guzman’s advance from poverty to the leadership of Mexico’s most influential drug gang gained him folk hero status in his state and beyond. He led the Sinaloa cartel for decades, even during while serving long sentences behind bars in Mexico — from which he famously broke out of twice, once through a mile-long tunnel.

However, now that he is in solitary confinement in a high-security federal lockup in Manhattan, the 61-year-old is believed to have given over the power of his enterprise to his adult children.

Alejandro Hope, a Mexican security analyst, said it is standard for cartels to financially assist the wives and children of leaders who have been murdered or incarcerated.

Coronel, a 29-year-old former pageant queen who caught Guzman’s attention at a pageant ten years ago, may also have her own family funds. She is the niece of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, a onetime partner of Guzman who was killed in a 2010 conflict with the Mexican army.

Emma Coronel, who is originally from Los Angeles, had twins in 2011 in Lancaster.

The failure to capture Guzman’s assets has not been for lack of effort by authorities on both sides of the border, according to Hope.

Drug lords are proficient at laundering and hiding money — concealing it in real estate, small companies and sometimes even holes in the ground. At the same time, Mexico’s legal structure for seizing drug proceeds is still under development and is less sophisticated compared to those in other countries, such as Colombia.

Chikinarcos, or narco juniors, which is the name given to children of Mexico’s drug lords have never been known for their modesty.


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Festejo #maximaelegancia al style de Barbie Glamour 👗👛👒👜👠 @antoniotizoc_fotografia #lasmejoresfotos #losmejoreseventos #barbie #temabarbie #barbiegirl #barbieglamour #rosita #piñataspersonalizadas #maximaelegancia Decoracion por @eventosjrcln

A post shared by Antonio Tizoc ®👑 (@antoniotizoc_fotografia) on

Damaso Lopez-Serrano, the son of another onetime Sinaloa cartel head and reportedly is also Guzman’s godson, famously uploaded pictures on social media of his million-dollar jewelry, gold-plated firearms, and pet cheetah. Lopez-Serrano turned himself into United States officials in 2017 and might be on the list testify against Chapo.

Boasting of wealth by Mexico’s narco juniors are generally less reviled than those of mirreyes, or “my kings,” a sarcastic term Mexicans use to refer to the children of the country’s political and business elite who show off their decadent lifestyles without shame.

This year, the son of a general removed his blog, called “Golden life,” after he came under fierce criticism for his posts boasting his designer shopping trips and private jets. The daughters of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto were similarly tormented after they posted pictures at the presidential palace with a celebrity tattoo artist from New York whom they appeared to have brought in for a special appointment.

Hope believes it is the same populist surge that helped anti-corruption and anti-poverty candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador secure the presidency in July.

“People get angry when it’s a politician or a politician’s family,” Hope explained. “When a narco flaunts his wealth, they get angry at the government.”

Some individuals laughed when they heard about the twins’ birthday celebration.

In a broadcast about the party, Telemundo newscaster Enrique Usales questioned what kind of precedent it set and how the girls would celebrate their 15th birthday, which in Mexico is marked with a huge party.

“If they celebrated the seventh birthday this way,” he stated, “Could you imagine the quinceanera?”

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