Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, the Mexican drug kingpin better known as El Chapo, has been found guilty in a US federal court on 10 charges.
The 61-year-old former leader of the infamous Sinaloa Cartel faces life in prison after jurors in the Brooklyn court – who were kept anonymous to ensure their safety – returned a guilty verdict on all charges.
The guilty verdict follows a lengthy and complicated trial, which heard from over 50 witnesses and gave a basically unprecedented look into the inner workings of the cartel and the North American drug trade in general.
Prosecutors alleged that Guzmán was responsible for a reign of terror across Mexico, enforcing his will and the requirements of the cartel business using brutal methods including murder, torture and kidnapping.
He was alleged to have committed acts of violence himself as well as ordering them, including the shooting of two men who had been tortured over working for a rival cartel.
Guzmán himself did not testify, and he only spoke in when he declined to take the stand – though his voice was heard by the court in numerous recordings. The defence, which only spoke for a total of thirty minutes and called only one witness, made no real effort to deny the substance of the prosecutions allegations, but suggested that Guzmán had been set up by government informants who were much worse people than he was.
The kingpin was extradited to the United States after his capture in Mexico a year ago. Prior to that, he was known for a series of audacious escapes from Mexican prisons. His first escape – rumoured to be via a laundry hamper – was in 2001, and he spent more than a decade being recaptured and escaping again several times.