Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s trial began on Monday, and things are already getting weird. In addition to creating massive traffic because of all the security needed to guard the courthouse, potential jurors, and Guzman, jury selection is experiencing some hiccups. But all of that paled in comparison to the unusual request made by El Chapo himself.
According to TMZ, the legal team of the 61-year-old former Sinaloa Cartel leader filed documents asking the judge to let Guzman hug his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro. Aispuro attended her husband's pre-trial hearing and was “waving and blowing him kisses from the gallery.”
"I respectfully write to request that Mr. Guzman be allowed to give his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, a brief momentary greeting to include perhaps an embrace," attorney Mariel Colon Miro wrote in a letter to Judge Brian Cogan.
Guzman has been in solitary confinement since he was extradited to the U.S. on Jan. 19, 2017. His lawyers say the Mexican cartel boss hasn’t seen his wife in two years, and his visits have been limited to his twin daughters and lawyers.
“The only human contact Mr. Guzman has had since his extradition has been with the jail personnel when putting and removing his shackles, and a quick handshake from his attorneys when he goes to court,” the documents read. The judge hasn’t ruled on the request.
Meanwhile, jury selection is off to a rocky start as the court already dismissed one man who wanted an autograph from Guzman. Another, a self-described Michael Jackson impersonator, was also dismissed, according to NBC. It’s apparently because his job made him too vulnerable to potential attacks. Guzman promised not to kill any jurors, but to be safe they’re all remaining anonymous throughout the court proceedings.
Guzman is facing 11 drug trafficking, conspiracy, money laundering, and weapons charges for his tenure as the leader of one of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations, which he founded in the late 1980s
Opening statements are scheduled to begin on Nov. 13.