NEW YORK — The wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman helped plan his infamous 2015 escape from prison through a tunnel dug into the shower of his cell, a witness at Guzman's U.S. trial testified on Wednesday.
Former cartel worker Damaso Lopez Nunez told the jury that Emma Coronel Aispuro played a key role by helping her husband trade messages with his sons and others who coordinated the breakout.
Coronel "was giving us his orders," Lopez told a New York jury, adding that she also was in on meetings about the escape.
The plan included smuggling a phone with GPS to Guzman so the plotters could determine where best to tunnel in, Lopez said. They also bought property adjacent to the facility where they could dig the mile-long (1.6 kilometer-long) escape route, he said.
Guzman could hear the work being done that went on for months, Lopez said. He said his boss said it was so loud, other inmates were complaining about it, he added.
Colonel was in the courtroom for the testimony, but had no immediate reaction.
Guzman was recaptured in 2016 and sent to the U.S. to face drug-trafficking charges that his lawyers say are being fabricated by cooperators like Lopez. He faces life in prison if convicted.