Why "El Chapo's" Lawyer Wants a New Trial

"I will defend Mr. Guzmán until the end." Joining Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán's defense team at his sensational New York trial was one of her first experiences as a lawyer. Now, she wants her client back in court.

A sit down with Mariel Colón

Mariel Colón was a lawyer on the team that defended notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán during his trial in New York City. Being part of Guzman’s defense team was one of her first experiences as a lawyer. Guzman’s family had previously balked at having to pay for his defense, which they considered a losing proposition, according to a report in Mexico’s El Universal newspaper, but changed their mind after Guzman’s plea to them in court. One of Team El Chapo’s tasks was to ask a judge to allow him to get a hug from his wife, whom he has not seen in two years according to the NY Post.

“Everyone has already heard about “El Chapo" Guzmán. Obviously, every member of the jury knew who Mr. “El Chapo" Guzmán was and knew things that weren’t exactly flattering about Mr. Guzmán. So, not just for me but for the entire defense team, I think that made it much more difficult because from the very beginning, and in the minds of everyone around the world, Mr. Guzmán wasn’t innocent. When people think about “El Chapo” Guzmán, I mean, they’re afraid. They think of him as a monster and that it's obviously what makes it a difficult case.”

While the appeals process goes on, Guzman has been transferred to the “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado — known as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.” He was extradited to Mexico two years ago on suspicion that he imported chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine. In 2007, police in Mexico confiscated more than $205 million in cash from his palatial home in Mexico City along with a cache of automatic weapons. As part of its case against Guzman, prosecutors have said they will try to seize an estimated $14 billion in profits from his sale of drugs.