A new clothing and accessories line carrying the brand of former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, complete with the convicted ex-drug lord’s name and signature on every article, is slated to hit shelves this summer.
The crime boss was found guilty of drug trafficking charges after a trial in a New York federal court last month.
This week, Guzmán received special permission from the Metropolitan Correctional Center to sign the intellectual property rights to his name and signature over to a company headed by his wife, Emma Coronel.
El Chapo Guzmán: JGL LLC became an official entity today.
Coronel, a former beauty queen, told the news network CNN that the project will be dedicated to securing the future of the couple’s seven-year-old twin daughters.
“I’m very excited to start this project, which was based on ideas and concepts that my husband and I had years ago.”
Guzmán attorney Mariel Colon Miro said the ex-drug lord will not have any role in the company.
“It’s not his project; it’s Emma’s project.”
Another of El Chapo’s lawyers, Michael Lambert, agreed, stressing that Guzmán will not see any of the company’s profits.
“He wanted to be able to set something up — a legitimate enterprise — for the benefit of his wife and his two daughters.”
U.S. authorities have said they will attempt to confiscate billions of dollars that they believe Guzmán’s organization earned as proceeds from drug trafficking, but former federal prosecutor Duncan Levin doubted they would be successful.
“A lot of the assets are in the name of other people. It’s hard to find them, and once you find them, it’s hard to get the buy-in of the Mexican government.”
Levin said the U.S. government could use the new company to seize some of Guzmán’s assets for attempting to make money off his crimes and infamy.
Colon said the enterprise intends to collaborate with fashion designers but Guzmán’s wife will be heavily involved in all aspects of the company, including design.
Design work for many of the products, including baseball caps, T-shirts, denim jackets, sweatshirts and phone cases, is already in progress.
But Coronel is not the only member of the family who has seen the marketing potential of the El Chapo brand. Alejandrina Guzmán, supposedly a daughter, has launched El Chapo 701, whose website advertises myriad products though none appears to be available for purchase yet.