The Mexican federal authorities have made the beauty queen wife of El Chapo Guzman their highest-priority surveillance target after his audacious prison break, MailOnline has learned.
Mexico City Police told MailOnline that glamorous Emma Coronel, 25, the third wife of El Chapo Guzman, 60, may provide the best chance of recapturing the world’s most powerful cartel boss if they try to reunite.
However, police would not confirm if they even know of her current whereabouts.
Emma Coronel, who married Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman in 2007 the very day she turned 18, is his junior by over 30 years. The brunette beauty queen has already borne him twin girls in 2011, raising his number of offspring to nine.
But her beauty belies a life deeply intertwined with the brutal crime of the Mexican cartels. Emma Coronel is the heiress to one of the most formidable narco dynasties Mexico has ever seen.
Coronel fled to California to give birth to twin girls, but their father El Chapo is missing from their birth certificates – most likely because he was a wanted man in both the United States and Mexico.
Her husband’s charge to become the most dangerous drug lord in Mexico ignited a bloody cartel war that claimed the lives of over 550 people in 2011 – when they had been wed for four years – according to Mexico’s attorney general’s office.
But it is unlikely she was shocked by the violence she may have seen. Not only was the 25-year-old by his side when he was arrested in February of last year, more than six close relatives, including her father, are behind bars.
The Coronel and Guzman families are the foundation upon which the Sinaloa Cartel was built, and the marriage between El Chapo and Coronel was seen by many as a calculated move to bind the ties between the cartel’s central families.
Coronel’s father, Inés Coronel, was the director of drug smuggling operations for the Sinaloa cartel along the Arizona section of the US border with Mexico.
When he was a farmer who began working for the cartels through production of marijuana and opium harvests in the hills of his home state of Durango, Inés was originally known by his nickname ‘The One’ for his efficiency and quality of his product.
Following the marriage between Coronel and El Chapo he was known as ‘El Suegro’, or ‘Father-In-Law’ – despite being younger than Guzman by some years.
When he ran the Sinaloa cartel’s operation in the northern Mexican states of Durango and Sonora, he was feared for his brutality.
He was arrested alongside his son and Emma’s brother Omar Coronel by the Mexican military in 2013, while at a warehouse in Sonora and in possession of four assault rifles and 250kg of marijuana. He is currently in Mexican federal prison in Hermosillo, Sonora.
While Emma’s father, brother, and at least six other cousins are currently behind bars for their involvement in organised crime, the Coronel family’s most famous narco was her uncle.
Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Coronel was one of the founders of the Sinaloa Cartel alongside El Chapo Guzman, and was known as the ‘King of Crystal’ for his unprecedented success in the production and distribution of methamphetamine in the early 2000s.
He was famous for his fierce temper and brutal revenge on those who opposed him. He once sent 100 cartel killers to kidnap, torture and then murder just three Zeta cartel gunmen who had been seen in his territory of Jalisco state.
He was killed in 2010 during a shootout with the Mexican military, at a time when the United States had placed a reward of $5million in exchange for information leading to his capture.
His mausoleum in Culiacan today displays the wealth and power of the Coronel family. Having cost an astonishing $450,000 to build and equipped with wi-fi, air conditioning, 24-hour surveillance and state of the art alarm system, it’s a building where El Chapo’s wife would have spent time grieving over the loss of her uncle.
It’s from this narco background that Coronel hails. Having lived through the deaths, arrests and incarcerations of her own family members, her new status will not be a new experience to her.
She was not married to El Chapo when he escaped from prison for the first time in 2001 by hiding in a laundry basket after bribing officials.
His second prison break on Saturday was even more daring, and far more ludicrous. The billionaire drug baron broke out of the maximum security Altiplano jail through a mile-long tunnel underneath the prison – on a motorbike.
The sophisticated underground tunnel which led to an unfinished building next to the jail was fitted with air vents and electric lights.
He began his audacious escape at 8.52pm on Saturday when he entered the shower block at the prison and – unnoticed by any guards – pried open a 50cm by 50cm grill in the floor of the shower block and climbed 32 feet down a ladder into a tunnel below the prison.
His wife Emma Coronel was born in the Mexican town of La Angostura – a remote village of a dozen houses reachable only by a rough dirt road – in November 1989, to Ines Calderon and Blanca Estela Aispuro.
She has dual citizenship, with passports in both the US and Mexico thanks to her mother.
The 17-year-old Emma met El Chapo at a party her father threw in 2007. At 5’7′ she is actually an inch taller than her cartel boss husband.
As they began dating they enjoyed giving parties and once paid the local council $5million in order to be left alone by the local authorities with their guests after Emma won the beauty queen prize at the Coffee and Guava Festival in Sonora in 2007.
Hundreds of gun-toting motorcyclists swarmed into town for an opulent party after she announced her candidacy earlier in the year. El Chapo showed up for the event with an automatic weapon.
Nobody was more surprised by the over-the-top party than his second-in-command Ismael Zambada Garcia – who had always known him as a low-key man.
Coronel and Guzman quickly married – less than a year after meeting – and Emma became even more accustomed to the protection of armed guards, who often numbered over 100 when they were entertaining guests in one of their multiple mansions throughout northern Mexico.
The beauty queen strengthened the myth perpetrated by the US Drug Enforcement Administration that the Sinaloa boss prefers ‘brunettes to blondes’.
She became pregnant in 2011 and went to the US to give birth in Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California.
Following the birth of her daughters Emma was kept out of the public eye on the orders of her husband. Perhaps, like El Chapo, she may never been seen again.