On Monday morning (Oct. 15), I got an email from a DHS friend of mine giving me a heads up that Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera's pregnant daughter had been apprehended at the San Ysidro (California) port of entry with false papers. I went on Twitter and posed the question if anyone had heard anything about it and could confirm through open sources. I went back and forth over the rest of the day and part of today with Tim Johnson from McClatchy, him trying to get CBP and the US Attorney's Officer to answer his questions and me trying to figure out who in the heck this woman really is.
In all my reading, including Malcolm Beith's The Last Narco (the only English-language biography of El Chapo I know of), El Chapo only has two daughters - one by his second wife, named Griselda, and one by his current 23 year-old wife. I don't remember her name, but she would only be a year old or so. Griselda Guadalupe would be old enough to be pregnant (she's about 23), but the name given by the woman at San Ysidro was Alejandrina Gisselle Guzmán Salazar. The name is almost a rearrangement of the name of El Chapo's first wife, who Alejandrina claimed is her mother. There are no open source records online anywhere indicating El Chapo ever had a daughter by that name. Doesn't mean he didn't; it's just interesting.
Monday night doing some more online searching, I found a website of a Mexican government agency that lists all Mexican citizens who have been granted medical licenses by class/year. I found Alejandrina's name on one list, indicating she's a licensed surgeon. That was interesting too, and made me wonder how many women by the exact name of Alejandrina Gisselle Guzmán Salazar there are in Mexico.
As a surgeon, and as a daughter of the most wanted man in the Western Hemisphere, you'd think she'd be able to afford a really good fake visa, but apparently not. This makes me think she has no relationship or communication at all with her father's people, or there's some reason she couldn't get a real visa.
Anyway, these were some of the questions Tim and I have been going over, and he wrote a really great blog post about it. He's given me permission to reprint it here:
The Drug Lord's Unknown Daughter
Last Friday afternoon at around 3:30 p.m., a visibly pregnant Mexican woman tried to walk into Southern California at the San Ysidro entry point.
She presented a fraudulent non-immigrant visa to the U.S. border agent, and he detected it. So he sent her to a holding area while her fingerprints were run through a system.
It turned out that her real name is Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, and she is the daughter of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who U.S. officials have described as the most wanted drug trafficker in the world.
According to a criminal complaint, the daughter waived her right to an attorney and began to talk. She told U.S. officials she wanted to give birth to her child in the United States (where the child would automatically get U.S. citizenship).
Guzman Salazar’s mother is María Alejandrina Salazar Hernández, a former wife of the drug lord but one who the U.S. Treasury claims is an integral part of his narcotics and crime empire.
I’ve been trading notes about this case with Sylvia Longmire, author ofCartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico’s Drug Wars, and she’s pointed out several things. Most importantly, hardly anyone has ever heard of this daughter. Guzman has coupled with a lot of women but those who follow his rise appear not to have known that he had a daughter with Salazar Hernandez.
Even more curiously, the daughter did not keep a low profile. She graduated in 2005 from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara as a surgeon, according to this website. That would put her in high spheres of Guadalajara society.
Here’s another curiosity: If she’s got the $1 billion empire of the Sinaloa Cartel behind her, why did she use a cheap fake visa to cross into California? Surely, the cartel has ways of doing very good fakes.
The money behind her became evident after her arrest. She and her family hired high-powered and expensive San Diego attorneys, Guadalupe Valencia and Jan E. Ronis, both well-known for defending accused drug traffickers.
So how many kids does Chapo Guzman have? Best guess now is at least 10.
It was widely thought before now that Guzman had three sons with his first wife: César, Iván Archivaldo and Jesús Alfredo. Then with second wife Griselda Lopez Perez, Guzman is thought to have had three more sons and a daughter: Edgar, Joaquín, Ovidio and Griselda Guadalupe.
In 2007, Guzman robbed the cradle for his third marriage, wedding 18-year-old Emma Coronel, the niece of fellow Sinaloa trafficker Ignacio Coronel. His bride made news last year when she entered the United States and gave birth to twin girls in an LA County hospital. Since Coronel is a U.S. citizen, border authorities said they had no reason to stop her.
So now it turns out that Guzman had a fourth child with his first wife and she tried to imitate his latest wife by going to give birth in the United States.
I’d bet money that his list of offspring is even longer than we know now. It's also a safe bet that some of those children will try to visit the United States.
Check out Tim Johnson's awesome drug war blog HERE!
Bottom line, if she really is El Chapo's daughter, I doubt they'll be able to get much useful intel out of her regarding her father's business or whereabouts. Her mom and brother were recently added to the Kingpin list, but she sounds like she already has a cushy job and life in Guadalajara. I'm willing to wait to see what comes out of this, but I don't think it's going to be much.