In Brief

El Chapo ‘had sex with minors’, trial witness claims

Drug lord referred to young girls as ‘vitamins’, according to court documents

Unsealed court documents from the ongoing trial against Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman include claims by co-operating witnesses that he had sex with underage girls he referred to as “vitamins”.

CNN reports that one witness “told investigators that around 2007 he helped Guzman drug girls as young as 13 by placing a ‘powdery substance’ in their drinks before the defendant had sex with them”.

The documents had been sealed as they were deemed to be prejudicial and irrelevant to the charges Guzman is facing, which relate to drug trafficking and money laundering. 

According to the witnesses, an associate of El Chapo known as “Commadre Maria” would procure the girls, sometimes as young as 13, who would be delivered to one of Guzman’s ranches for about £3,800.

The New York Times reports that Guzman was also accused of “sexually assaulted a cooperating witness in the case before beginning a romantic relationship with her and drawing her into his criminal enterprise”.

Guzman’s lawyer said he denies the “extremely salacious” accusations, adding: “It is unfortunate that the material was publicly released just prior to the jury beginning deliberations”. The defence could move for a mistrial when court reconvenes today on the grounds that the release of information not disclosed in court could taint the jury, says The Guardian.

The 61-year-old is currently facing 10 federal counts, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to launder narcotics proceeds and international distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other drugs.

Guzman has pleaded not guilty. He faces life in prison in the US if found guilty.

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