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.


At least one dead in multiple shooting in Dutch city of Utrecht

Updated 19 min 28 sec ago
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At least one dead in multiple shooting in Dutch city of Utrecht

  • Police are not ruling out terrorism as a possible motive
  • ‘Threat level has gone to 5, exclusively for the Utrecht province’

DUBAI: At least one person is dead and multiple others injured in a shooting incident in Utrecht, in The Netherlands.

Police have not ruled out terrorism as a possible motive in the shooting that left several people “heavily injured” - the shooter remains at large. Police have erected a white tent over an area where a body appears to be lying next to a tram where the shooting happened, AP reported.

The main counterterrorism unit in The Netherlands, the  National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV), told the Dutch public broadcaster that the incident had all the characteristics of a terrorist attack.

Counter-terrorism forces have surrounded a building where the gunman may be located, local broadcaster NOS News reported.

There was gunfire at several locations in the city, the Dutch national counter-terrorism chief said.

“Shooting took place this morning at several locations in Utrecht,” Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told a news conference in The Hague. “A major police operation is under way to arrest the gunman.”

The Dutch anti-terror coordinator has raised the threat alert to its highest level around the central Dutch town of Utrecht following the shooting incident on a tram in the city, with the shooter still on the run.

Paramilitary police have increased security at airports, mosques and other vital public infrastructure. Police have also advised schools in the area to keep their doors closed.
Anti-terror coordinator Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said in a statement that the “threat level has gone to 5, exclusively for the Utrecht province,” referring to the highest level. 
“The culprit is still on the run. A terror motive cannot be excluded,” he said in a Twitter message. He called on citizens to closely follow the indications of the local police. 
Dutch police say they are looking for a least one person who might have fled by car.

Spokesman Bernhard Jens did not exclude more people might be involved. 
“We want to try to catch the person responsible as soon as possible,” Jens said.

A hotline to address queries about the situation. The Netherlands has one of the strictest gun laws and ownership is limited to law enforcement, hunters and target shooters.

 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that the government is currently holding crisis talks.

Aalbersberg earlier said on Twitter that he was having “crisis consultations”, adding: “Terrorist motive not excluded. Information not yet full.”

 

Local media reports have said counter-terrorism police were seen at the scene.

“Shooting incident... Several injured people reported. Assistance started,” the Utrecht police Twitter account said. “It is a shooting incident in a tram. Several trauma helicopters have been deployed to provide help.”

The 24 Oktoberplein is a busy Utrecht traffic junction, with a tram stop. Tram traffic was temporarily stopped due to the incident, but the trams are currently running again between Zuilenstein, Nieuwegein and IJsselstein.

(With AFP and Reuters)