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US Blacklists Son, Ex-Wife of 'El Chapo'

The US Treasury has added an ex-wife and son of the Sinaloa Cartel’s Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the “Kingpin List,” freezing their assets in the US, and barring citizens from doing business with them.

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The individuals are Maria Alejandrina Salazar Hernandez and Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, whom the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identifies as El Chapo’s wife and son. According to the OFAC’s press release, the two are key operatives in the Sinaloa Cartel.

Guzman Salazar was indicted on drug trafficking charges along with his father in 2009, while Salazar Hernandez “provides material support to the drug trafficking activities of her husband,” according to the OFAC.

This is the sixth time in the past year that the OFAC has singled out individuals linked to Chapo Guzman, whose net worth may be as much as $1 billion.

InSight Crime Analysis

While the OFAC press release describes Salazar Hernandez as El Chapo’s wife, she was in fact the first of his three wives. The drug lord reportedly married her in a discreet ceremony in 1977, and the two had three sons: Cesar, Ivan Archivaldo and Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar. The first two were added to the Kingpin List in May.

He is believed to have remarried some time later, wedding Griselda Lopez Perez, who was arrested in 2010.  Lopez Perez gave birth to four boys, one of whom -- Edgar Guzman Lopez -- was killed in 2008 as part of a bloody feud with the Beltran Leyva Organization.

Guzman married his third and latest wife, beauty queen Emma Coronel, in an elaborate ceremony marking her 18th birthday in 2007. She is a niece of fallen Sinaloa leader Ignacio Coronel, alias “El Nacho,” and has dual US and Mexican citizenship. This, and the fact that there are no criminal charges against her, allowed her to give birth to twin girls in a Los Angeles hospital in September 2011.

Because El Chapo has more pressing legal priorities (most recently the US government's latest indictment of him and his organization) it is possible that he never legally divorced his first two wives, which could be the reason for the OFAC’s description of Salazar Hernandez as his wife.

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