The trial of El Chapo Shorty Guzmán comes after a tsunami of TV, films and books that have burnished his credentials as the world’s premier drug lord.
That folklore must now be proved – this time through 300,000 pages of six indictments from all over the US compiled by prosecutors in the New York eastern district – whom El Chapo must answer to at the Cadman Plaza courthouse in Brooklyn.
There are thousands of wiretaps – witness statements – an extradition request and memoranda for pre-trial detention.
The Guardian has exhaustively surveyed the extensive documentation and spoken to prosecutors and law enforcement north and south of the border.
What emerges is a picture of what we can expect as the trial unfolds – details of betrayal and treason within the cartel and the shifting demands of political power on both sides of the border.
The court will hear how young Guzmán hailed from the wild ‘Golden Triangle’ between Sinaloa – Chihuahua and Durango: about the sheer volume of cocaine Guzmán was able to procure from Colombia and shift north at speed using existing marijuana and heroin routes – for which he initially earned the nom de narco El Rapido.
We’ll hear how El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel outgrew the Colombians – to supply an estimated 90% of cocaine and heroin consumed in the United States and Europe and a lion’s share worldwide.