Guzmán: to be abandoned by his family? Guzmán: to be abandoned by his family?

Family may not fund ‘El Chapo’s’ defense

Case seen as a lost cause and impossible to win

The family of notorious drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán may stop funding his defense, a source with knowledge of the case told the newspaper El Universal.


The former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel was extradited to the United States in January last year where he faces 17 drugs and weapons-related charges.

The unnamed source said that Guzmán’s family members believe that his case is impossible to win and therefore see little reason to continue to pay expensive fees to the former capo’s lawyers.

Instead, they believe that the money can be better spent protecting the cartel’s current leadership group, including kingpin Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.

According to the source, the family also cited a lack of direct access to Guzmán as further justification for the plan to cease bankrolling the case.

Since his extradition, Guzmán has been kept in a maximum-security prison in New York where he has had no contact with family members and former associates, making it impossible for him to advise them where to source the money needed to pay his lawyers.

For several months after he left Mexico, Guzmán was represented by public defenders but in August he hired two teams of lawyers, including one headed by high-profile attorney Jeffrey Lichtman.


However, the lawyer, who had previously represented New York mobster John Gotti Jr., ultimately decided to opt out of the chance to represent the famous drug boss, telling El Universal that his decision was based on the possibility that he would never be paid for his work.

That left the other team hired by Guzmán to take over the case.

Since the start of September another well-known criminal lawyer, Eduardo Balarezo, has been Guzmán’s private counsel and chief defense attorney.

The New York Times reported in November that Balarezo is working for a fraction of his normal fee and said that “prosecutors have declined to give assurances to Mr. Balarezo that any money will be left to pay him” after the case because the U.S. government intends to seize billions of dollars of illicit profits made by Guzmán.

On December 24, Balarezo requested that the starting date of the trial be postponed beyond the scheduled starting date of April 16 because “the defense team is insufficiently funded” to prepare for it.

Last month, the presiding judge agreed to reschedule the trial to September.

However, if Guzmán’s family goes ahead with the plan to pull the plug on its funding of the case, it could lead to Balarezo deciding to bail.

The trial will be heard by an anonymous jury and is expected to run for three to four months.

Source: El Universal (sp), The New York Times (en)

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  • Cool Hand Luke

    Anonymous until someone knocks on their door and says, “We know where you live”.

    • WestCoastHwy

      Depends on what time of the year.

  • Güerito

    Just confirms what I posted a couple days ago about the importance of going after money laundering and the assets of narcos and corrupt politicians. Something that’s simply never done in Mexico.

    • Anthony Stein

      Or the USA!

      • Güerito

        Obviously, based on the content of this article, the US is seizing his assets.

        I posted a comment a few days ago with an article explaining that Mexico is very far down on the list of countries, even in Latin America, that prosecute money laundering and go after assets acquired through crime or corruption. Basically, if you obtain the assets in Mexico, you and your family and your associates are allowed to keep the funds, no matter how acquired, even in the rare cases where a criminal prosecution might take place.

        • Anthony Stein

          The USA can join those Latin countries down on that bottom list of corrupt countries too Guerito! Look at your money laundering president first and he won’t be caught and his assets will be protected also! Mexico hasn’t cornered the market on this type of bullshit! 75 percent of your politcians get paid off by the NRA!

  • DreadFool

    goes to show the most dangerous, illiterate, billionaire drug lord of the galaxy spent his billions on slurpees and is S.O.L in the U.S,A. not to mention since the big hillbilly boss of all bosses was nabbed, the drug trade has stopped noticeably – thanks D.E.A. for a great bogus novela, the cupa catolicos rides again!

    • Lee Cadaver

      the drug trade has stopped “noticeably”?…eh?….surely you jest, man…oh, wait, maybe you are joking…upon re-reading, I do not know, no entiendo ni madres…

      • DreadFool

        hey cadaver, what else but jest could come from your fellow d(r)eadfool?

        • Lee Cadaver

          hhahahaaaa, alrighty…it[s just that you never know, lots of genuine buffoons out there that would believe something like that

  • Anthony Stein

    Perhaps he could share a jail cell with that other money launderer?..Donald.J.Trump

  • WestCoastHwy

    Oops, Chapo just dropped the soap!