One of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s long-suffering lovers testified Thursday that he asked her to traffic marijuana less than one year after their first tryst.
“Until today, I’m still confused—because I thought that we were romantically involved,” said Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez Lopez, who is taking the stand against the married Guzman under a deal with prosecutors.
Guzman’s self-described gal pal was arrested in 2017 while trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico over alleged involvement in a cocaine conspiracy.
One of the prosecutors trying Guzman on 17 drug trafficking counts in Brooklyn federal court, asked Sanchez who she worked with.
“With Joaquin Guzman Loera—the head, the main leader of the Sinaloa Cartel,” she said.
They met in late 2010 and in early 2011, Guzman made his move, sending her several cell phones by courier.
After she received the second phone, he called about two hours later. They started meeting up about once or twice per month. He invited her to a waterfront home in Los Cabos that boasted a pool and jacuzzi, Sanchez said.
“He wanted to have a more stable relationship with me,” she said.
Guzman is married to one-time beauty queen Emma Coronel, and they reportedly got hitched in 2007, meaning the alleged infidelity took place four years into their union.
In October 2011, Guzman sent Sanchez to the mountains, where he asked her to send him 400-kilo shipments of marijuana by plane. He wanted farmers to accept payment on credit, but Sanchez refused.
“I thought it was unfair,” she claimed, saying the farmers worked too hard to get stiffed in the end.
Guzman, meanwhile, was a demanding boss, contacting her “every day, at all hours.”
“I had to climb a tall hill every morning and evening... so I could get a signal,” she testified.
Guzman also kept telling her to buy higher-quality bud.
“I was actually sending him packages with seeds because I wanted him to get upset with me, so he would ask me to come back,” she said. “But I did not manage it.”
“Was he paying you at all?” the prosecutor asked.
“No,” Sanchez said.
The couple stayed together until late 2012 or early 2013, she testified, and lived together at one point.
“I was like his wife,” said Sanchez, who wept heavily during a brief break in the afternoon’s testimony. Coronel maintained an air of arrogance.
Sanchez even shopped for him.
“I had to cut the legs off the pants,” Sanchez said, alluding to her notoriously short paramour.
Guzman sporadically contacted Sanchez, including in early 2014 when authorities were hot on his trail. “The relationship had ended, but it seemed like it would never end,” she said.
One night, at about 4 a.m., Sanchez and Guzman woke to the sounds of his secretary, Condor, warning them. “Wake up! They’re on us!” Sanchez recalled Condor saying.
Condor and Guzman ran into the bathroom, summoning Sanchez, and lifted a lid off the bathtub, with some sort of “piston”-like hydraulic system. Under the tub was a set of stairs that eventually led to a tunnel.
“He went off first, he left us behind, ” Sanchez said of Guzman.
Was he wearing anything, prosecutors asked?
“Nothing—he was naked,” she said.
Sanchez continued traveling through the dark tunnel, grasping at the walls, as she felt water.
Guzman, Condor, Sanchez, and a maid were eventually reunited at the end of the path, which she believed to be a river.
Prosecutors asked how long she was underground.
“Enough to traumatize me,” Sanchez said.