The trial of accused drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, suspected former leader of the Sinaloa cartel, is underway in a federal court in Brooklyn. Opening statements began on Nov. 13, 2018, and the trial is projected to last four months. Currently, the prosecution is still calling witnesses. If convicted, El Chapo faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. For his alleged involvement with an international drug trade, he’s being charged with a number of crimes, including money laundering and murder conspiracy. He has had his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, and his twin daughters by his side for support.
Due to the nature of the trial, precautions have been taken to minimize risk to jurors. They are partially sequestered, for one, meaning they're limited to a hotel and the courtroom for the length of the trial, rather than traveling to the court from home. Armed marshals attend their every move, and will continue to do so. El Chapo has even promised not to kill any of his jurors.
The 61-year-old is being accused of serious crimes—crimes that make him as feared as he is infamous. At the end of it all, the strange, compelling saga of El Chapo will (hopefully) come to a close.
Who is this man who inspires such terror in people? What is he accused of? And how is this trial, which has been repeatedly delayed and postponed, coming along? If the first you heard about El Chapo was from that Sean Penn interview, here's everything you need to know about the trial of El Chapo.