An alleged photo of Chapo Guzman's daughter

The detention of a woman claiming to be the daughter of "Chapo" Guzman is sure to reignite interest in the family of the evasive Sinaloa Cartel leader, although there are still plenty of unanswered questions about the case.

The woman, identified as Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, was arrested on October 12 while trying to enter the United States from Tijuana on foot, after US authorities identified a fraudulent visa in her Mexican passport. During questioning, she said she was Guzman’s daughter, an identity that was reportedly confirmed through a check of her fingerprints. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, the woman is a medical doctor who is seven months pregnant, and said she was attempting to enter the United States to give birth and meet up with the baby’s father in Los Angeles. A cedula, or an identification card, issued in 2005 to an Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman identifies her as a medical surgeon who studied at the Autonomous University of Guadalaja, apparently confirming the LA Times’ report.

InSight Crime Analysis

Chapo Guzman is believed to have had at least three wives, including former beauty queen Emma Coronel, who gave birth to twins in Los Angeles last year. He had three sons with his first wife and three sons and a daughter, Griselda, with his second wife. There are no previous reports of another daughter, although it is possible she was born out of wedlock. Mexican newspaper El Universal identifies her as a daughter of Chapo’s first wife, Alejandrina Maria Salazar Hernandez.

Casting further doubt on the case are mistaken reports that one of Chapo’s sons was arrested in June this year. It’s possible that the Alejandrina arrest is another case of mistaken identity and over-hasty reporting.

The case is also curious because the daughter of the world’s most wanted drug traffickers would presumably be able to procure better quality false papers. 

However, there is precedent for members of the Guzman clan crossing the US border to give birth, with the case his wife last year. If Alejandrina is really El Chapo’s daughter, this could indicate a “family connection” to southern California, as Eric Olson, associate director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, told the Washington Post.

In addition, Alejandrina Guzman Salazar has reportedly hired San Diego-based criminal defense attorney Jan Ronis to work on her case. Ronis has represented members of the Arellano-Felix family, which makes it seem likely that Guzman Salazar really is a member of El Chapo’s clan, if she has the influence and the cash to contract Ronis.

One question is what kind of intelligence Guzman Salazar will be able to offer US law enforcement. Different members of the Guzman family have varying degrees of involvement in the Sinaloa Cartel's criminal activities. Guzman's first wife and his son Jesus Alfredo were both blacklisted by the US Treasury Department earlier this year. There is also a wide network of cousins, nephews, and in-laws who work for the Sinaloa Cartel -- including a cousin of Guzman's who was sentenced to 21 years in prison in Mexico 2010, and a nephew who was recently gunned down at a family party

Other members of the Guzman family are less involved with Chapo's criminal businesses, including his mother, who reportedly lives peacefully in a country home which her son built for her in rural Sinaloa, as "The Last Narco" author Malcolm Beith has reported.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

As Guatemala's Congress gears up to select new Supreme Court Justices and appellate court judges, InSight Crime is investigating how organized crime influences the selection process. This story details the interests of one particular political bloc vying for control over the courts and what's at stake: millions of ...

The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime

The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime

The mad scramble for criminal power in the aftermath of the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) is over. The Urabeños, or as they prefer to call themselves, the "Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia," have won.

50 years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

50 years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is in sight. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the ...

Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

 Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

Well-armed vigilantes in Mexico's Michoacan state have helped authorities dismantle a powerful criminal organization, but now the government may have a more difficult task: keeping Michoacan safe from the vigilantes and rival criminal groups.

Uruguay, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

After the lower house passed the controversial marijuana bill July 31, Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug, and provide a model for countries looking for alternatives to the world’s dominant drug policy paradigm. ...

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives And Negatives

El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives And Negatives

Whether it is sustainable or not, the truce -- which the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the Barrio 18 put into place March 2012 -- has changed the conventional thinking about who the gangs are and what is the best way to handle the most difficult law and order ...

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is in sight. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the ...

Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Since the end of El Salvador's civil war, the country's police has become a key player in the underworld. This series of five articles explore the dark ties between criminal organizations and the government's foremost crime fighting institution.

Juarez after the War

Juarez after the War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality. InSight Crime looks at the role politicians, police, and for-hire street gangs played in the fighting -- asking who ...