El Chapo's Young Wife Gives First Interview

She's worried he might not survive prison
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2016 5:04 AM CST
Updated Feb 22, 2016 6:21 AM CST
El Chapo's Wife Gives First Interview
Guzman is made to face the press as he's escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs after his recapture last month.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

It's no surprise that Mexico is keeping a very close eye on drug lord Joaquin Guzman after recapturing him for the second time—but that doesn't mean his wife has to like it. In her first public comments about "El Chapo," beauty queen Emma Coronel says she fears he may not survive the "slow torture" of solitary confinement at El Altiplano, the prison he left through a mile-long tunnel last year. "They want to make him pay for his escape. They say that they are not punishing him. Of course they are. They are there with him, watching him in his cell," Coronel says, per the Los Angeles Times. "They don't let him sleep. He has no privacy, not even to go to the restroom." The Telemundo interview with Coronel was recorded in Mexico in mid-February and aired Sunday night, NBC News reports.

Coronel—who married Guzman on her 18th birthday eight years ago, when he was 50—has dual American-Mexican citizenship and gave birth to his twin girls in California in 2011. He is believed to have at least 17 other children. Coronel says she only saw her husband twice during his months as a fugitive last year. "He just wanted to have a nice time with his daughters," she says. "To be in peace." She claims to know little of Guzman's drug empire and says she has never seen him use drugs or violence. "He is like any other man—of course he is not violent, not rude," she says. "I have never heard him say a bad word. I have never seen him get excited or be upset at anyone." (When authorities closed in, Guzman temporarily escaped through a door hidden behind a mirror.)

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