Mexican drug lord El Chapo described by witnesses as a pedophile: court papers

This Feb. 22, 2014 file photo shows Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the head of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, being escorted to a helicopter in Mexico City following his capture in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)
Updated 03 February 2019
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Mexican drug lord El Chapo described by witnesses as a pedophile: court papers

  • Guzman oversaw a drug-smuggling empire that flooded the US market with cocaine and made $14 billion off of it
  • WItness was quoted as saying Guzman had him drug girls as young as 13 before Guzman had sex with them

NEW YORK: Newly unsealed documents about notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman contains claims by witnesses that he had sex with minors he called “vitamins,” a disturbing allegation coming just as a jury is about to start deliberating in his US drug-trafficking case.
According to papers made public late Friday, a key government cooperator told authorities Guzman had him drug girls as young as 13 before Guzman had sex with them at one of his Mexican hideouts in the late 2000s.
On Saturday, one of Guzman’s lawyers called the accusations “extremely salacious” and questioned the timing of the government filing.
Guzman “denies the allegations, which lack any corroboration and were deemed too prejudicial and unreliable to be admitted at trial,” attorney Eduardo Balarezo said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that the material was publicly released just prior to the jury beginning deliberations.”
The jury is set to begin deliberations Monday after a nearly three-month trial on charges that as the head of the Sinaloa cartel, Guzman oversaw a drug-smuggling empire that flooded the US market with at least 200 tons (181 metric tons) of cocaine and made $14 billion off of it. The defense says cooperating witnesses have made Guzman a scapegoat for their own crimes.
The unsealing of the documents came at the request of The New York Times and Vice News. US District Judge Brian Cogan had ordered prosecutors to review the material — originally sealed because it was deemed unrelated to the drug charges — and make portions of it public within four days after the government rested its case against Guzman.
One document says Colombian drug trafficker Alex Cifuentes, while living with Guzman around 2007, told investigators someone known as Comadre Maria would offer photos of young girls to Guzman. For $5,000, the one of Guzman’s choice would be sent to a secluded Sinaloa ranch, Cifuentes said, according to the papers.
Guzman directed Cifuentes to put a “powdery substance” into the girls’ drinks before sex, said Cifuentes. Guzman “called the youngest of the girls his ‘vitamins’ because he believed that sexual activity with young girls gave him ‘life,’” he added.
Cifuentes also admitted having sex with minors but without drugging them. The document says other cooperating witnesses have backed up the claims about Guzman’s interactions with underage girls.
The cooperator told the government that he saw Guzman “consulting with a witch doctor from whom he obtained sake oils,” the papers said.
The documents also describe an interview with Guzman conducted by a Drug Enforcement Administration agent in 1998 at a Mexican prison where Guzman escaped two years later. They say he allegedly asked if he could avoid extradition to the United States if he provided information to the DEA about the drug-running operations of rival cartels.


Trump drops new North Korea sanctions because he ‘likes’ Kim

In this file photo taken on February 27, 2019 US President Donald Trump (L) speaks with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi. (AFP)
Updated 37 min 14 sec ago
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Trump drops new North Korea sanctions because he ‘likes’ Kim

  • “President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” the president’s spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Friday abruptly announced the cancelation of sanctions imposed by his own Treasury Department to tighten international pressure on North Korea.
“It was announced today by the US Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea. I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!” Trump said in a tweet.
He appeared to be referring to measures unveiled Thursday that targeted two Chinese companies accused of helping North Korea to evade tight international sanctions meant to pressure Pyongyang into ending its nuclear weapons program.
But The Washington Post reported, citing Trump administration officials, that the president’s tweet referenced future sanctions that had not been announced and were scheduled for “the coming days.”
The Thursday sanctions were the first new sign of pressure since talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un broke down in Hanoi less than a month ago.
However, Trump, who has previously spoken of “love” for the totalitarian leader, appears to retain hope that his strong personal relationship will bear fruit.
“President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” the president’s spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said.
Adam Schiff, a Democrat who heads the intelligence committee in the House of Representatives, blasted Trump for canceling sanctions “imposed only yesterday and championed by his own national security adviser, because he ‘loves’ Kim.”
“Foolish naivete is dangerous enough. Gross incompetence and disarray in the White House make it even worse,” Schiff tweeted.
On Thursday, Trump national security adviser John Bolton had tweeted that the sanctions were meant to put an end to “illicit shipping practices” by North Korea.
“Everyone should take notice and review their own activities to ensure they are not involved in North Korea’s sanctions evasion,” he said.
China complained, saying that it did enforce all UN resolutions and opposed “any country imposing unilateral sanctions and taking long-arm jurisdiction against any Chinese entity according to their own domestic laws.”
This was Trump’s second major, unexpected foreign policy announcement by Twitter in two days.
On Thursday, he sent a tweet reversing decades of US policy and pledged to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the hotly contested Golan Heights border area with Syria.