The New York Times

Will El Chapo's Trial Change Organized Crime Forever?


In opening arguments at the trial of Joaquín Guzmán, known as El Chapo, Assistant United States Attorney Adam Fels told the jury that the shipments seized from Guzmán’s cartel by American authorities amounted to “more than a line of cocaine for every single person in the United States” — an image that conveys the power of this $14 billion drug boss.

The prosecutors were hoping for a long sentence for Guzmán, one of the most powerful organized-crime figures in the world. On Feb. 12, they got it: He was found guilty on 10 charges. He is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

The evidence introduced by the prosecution and the testimony of the 56 witnesses during the three-month trial brought to light a range of details about the his former right-hand man (turned informant) said was paid to Enrique Peña Nieto, then Mexico’s president-elect, to allow Guzmán to remain in hiding undisturbed.

This article originally appeared in .

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