Jury set to deliberate fate of alleged Mexican cartel boss 'El Chapo'

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Newly unsealed documents in the USA case against the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo say witnesses described the notorious kingpin having sex with minors.

According to papers made public late on Friday, a key government co-operator told authorities that Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made him drug girls as young as 13 before the drug lord raped them at one of his Mexican hideouts in the late 2000s.

In this courtroom sketch, Judge Brian Cogan upper right, charges the jury in the USA trial of the infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, in New York, Monday Feb. 4, 2019. The witness, his former personal secretary Alex Cifuentes Villa, said that he would sometimes help Guzman incapacitate the girls by placing a "powdery substance" in their drinks, the New York Times reports. It should be noted that "Commadre Maria" was also earlier referenced as the woman who allegedly delivered a bribe of $100 million to Enrique Peña Nieto, who served as the President of Mexico from 2012 to 2018.

"Joaquin denies the allegations, which lack any corroboration and were deemed too prejudicial and unreliable to be admitted at trial", Guzman's lawyer, Eduardo Balarezo, said in an emailed statement. Balarezo then added that "it is unfortunate that the material was publicly released just prior to the jury beginning deliberations".

The documents were ordered unsealed by US District Judge Brian Cogan at the request of The New York Times and Vice News.

Guzman, 61, was extradited to the US a year ago to face multiple charges of drug trafficking and money laundering, after escaping a Mexican maximum security prison then being recaptured. He is accused of leading the Sinaloa drug cartel, largely considered to be one of the most powerful and ruthless criminal organizations in existence.

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Jurors are set to begin deliberations tomorrow as the three-month trial, in Brooklyn, New York, draws to a close.

Through them, jurors heard how the Sinaloa cartel gained power amid the shifting allegiances of the Mexican drug trade in the 1990s, eventually coming to control nearly the entire Pacific coast of Mexico.

He alleges that an associate of Guzman named "Comradre Maria" would send him pictures of girls, and for $5,000 the girl Guzman selected would be sent to his ranch.

According to the documents, other government witnesses corroborated the allegations.

The documents also describe an interview with Guzman conducted by a Drug Enforcement Administration agent in 1998 at a Mexican prison where Guzman escaped two years later.

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