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‘El Chapo’ trial: drug lord ‘secretary’ testifies against him

connectVideoProsecutors reveal sms messages Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sent to his wife, mistress

NEW YORK – The person who once served as “right” and “left” the man for the notorious drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman began to testify against his “boss” Thursday in the district court in New York City.

Alex Cifuentes comes from an old drug-trafficking Colombian family known as the Cifuentes Villa. In fact, his brother, Jorge, testified earlier in Guzman’s trial on the conspiracy, and had introduced the two.

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Cifuentes eventually moved to the mountains in Culiacan, in Mexico, where Guzman was hiding, and was his “secretary”, as El Chapo would call him. The witness said that he negotiated cocaine deals for de Guzman than Colombia, and would help him sell drugs in New York and in Canada.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, second from right, in court Thursday.
(Sketch by Jane Rosenberg)

Chapo and Cifuentes, who had not seen each other in at least a few years, were face-to-face today. As the witness walked into the courtroom, Guzman looked at him and gave him a wink. Cifuentes nodded back by placing his right hand on his chest as a sign of respect.

Cifuentes was asked to identify El Chapo; he stood and pointed to the drug boss is sitting at the defense table. Asked to be more specific, he said it was the first time that he had seen Guzman wearing the suit-which has become the standard for the kingpin during his trial.

The witness, who said he worked for the Guzman between 2007 and 2013, testified about a few deals in which he was involved in, and how he once “sent a plane to Mexico to Chapo with 440 kilos of cocaine.”

Another time, he said, they met each other after Cifuentes’ brother, Francisco, or “Pachito,” had been killed, and Chapo asked to meet his widow. The witness recalled discussing with another brother, Jorge, who is one of Pachito the five widows they would send. Finally, he said, Chapo a meeting with Patricia Rodriguez — and a coke deal was made.

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At another meeting, Cifuentes said he spent together with his brother Francisco “favorite chef.” The prosecutor asked him to clarify: “what kind of cook?” He replied: “cocaine cooking.”

Cifuentes then added: “They discussed a shipment of 10 kilos of cocaine. “He (Guzman) wanted a credit of 50 percent. As a good businessman… he was always trying to get a good deal.”

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