Monday, March 4, 2024

Lawyer for ‘El Chapo’ defends her dual career as attorney and ranchera singer

Mariel Colón Miró, who by age 26 had already worked as a lawyer for the Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera and the late American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, is making a name for herself as a ranchera singer.

In February of this year, the 31-year-old Puerto Rico native who grew up in the Mexican state of Durango released her debut single, “La Abogada” (“The Lawyer”). This fall, Colón has performed the song in several venues around Los Angeles, along with new releases “No Ha Nacido Otra” (“Another Girl Has Yet to Be Born”), “Te Perdí” (“I Lost You”) and “Encubiertos” (“Undercover”).

A fisheye photo of a woman in a white hat and dramatic makeup singing with a microphone
Mariel La Abogada debuted her first single, “La Abogada,” in February (mariellaabogada/Instagram)

In September, La Abogada sang her first single at a concert billed as “Celebrating the Patriotic Holidays of Mexico” at a venue in Lynwood, California. There, Colón was accompanied by one of her clients, former Mexican teen beauty queen and wife of “El Chapo” Emma Coronel, who had been released from prison only days earlier.

Since that first concert, Colón has performed at least 10 shows, according to her Instagram.

Colón has compared singing on stage in a club to making an appearance in court. “You have an audience, which is the judge and jury, and you have to convince them of a story,” she explained in an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Another point in common? “Both are worlds led by men,” said the New York–based lawyer.

A selfie of two women with light skin and dark hair
Colón poses for a selfie with her client and wife of El Chapo, Emma Coronel. (mariellaabogada/Instagram)

In her video for “La Abogada,” Colón portrays an attorney who falls in love with her accused client. “Good morning your honor, may I speak? Today I’m here to defend my heart,” she sings to the sound of trumpets and accordions. Ranchera-style music is iconically Mexican, with strong, emotional lyrics and deep, vibrant instrumentation.

Colón’s passion for music started early and was influenced by her father, Héctor Colón, a former music director and drummer for Menudo, a famous Puerto Rican boy band that has been active since 1977.

Insisting she isn’t abandoning the law for music, Colón said her intent is to balance both professions, stating on Univision’s show Despierta América, “The lawyer is still there. The singer is not going to eat the lawyer, nor the lawyer the singer. Both are going to coexist.”

In 2017, four months out of law school in New York but not yet licensed, Colón replied to a Craigslist ad seeking a Spanish-speaking paralegal. She got the job, which called for her to speak extensively with “El Chapo,” the notorious leader of the Sinaloa cartel who was awaiting trial in the U.S. In 2019, he was sentenced to life in prison.

Colón replied “Definitely!” when asked if working for “El Chapo” opened doors for her in the music industry. Emma Coronel often touts Colón’s singing abilities to her 788,000 Instagram followers.

Colón also has represented Rubén “El Menchito” Oseguera Gonzáles, a high-ranking member of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and was part of Epstein’s defense team before the convicted sex offender committed suicide in 2019.

With reports from La Jornada and El Financiero

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