Drug lord El Chapo's trial to begin in N.Y

Drug lord El Chapo's trial to begin in N.Y

Joaquin Archivaldo Guzmán Loera has always made up for his size, even if his nickname, "El Chapo", or Shorty, is a constant reminder of his squat, 5-feet-5-inches frame.

Guzman managed to escape from prison in Mexico twice before being extradited to the U.S. on January 19, 2017.

They were also questioned in Brooklyn's federal court about their views on the legalization of marijuana, their fluency in Spanish and their feelings toward both law enforcement and co-operating witnesses.

Guzman was extradited to the United States in January 2017 on an indictment that detailed his alleged reign over a merciless trafficking organization controlled through murder and torture. In 2016, an average of 174 Americans died every day from drug overdoses.

Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's trial started on Monday with the selection of jurors in Brooklyn federal court.

Prosecutors describe Guzman as one of the most risky and feared drug kingpins, who between 1989 and 2014 ran the world's largest drug trafficking organization. Prosecutors have also sought to hide the identity of co-operating witnesses out of concerns the cartel could seek retribution, while a judge is keeping the jury anonymous to protect them from intimidation.

Guzman is charged with 17 counts of murder, conspiracy, drug trafficking and money laundering.

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Prosecutors say the USA government is seeking a $14 billion forfeiture order as part of the case.

Guzman pleads not guilty, but the government has presented so much evidence - more than 300,000 pages and at least 117,000 recordings - that the defence complains they haven't had time to review it all. Some are expected to testify under aliases. Some of the informants have already been absorbed into the United States witness protection program, given new identities and homes around the country. "The case is going to be based on these informants".

Guzman has been held in solitary confinement in NY since Mexico extradited him and he spends 23 hours a day in his cell.

There's now speculation that a special cell for Guzman has been set up in the bowels of the courthouse where he will spend the night after his days in court. Instead, she has attended nearly all his pretrial hearings, waving and blowing him kisses from the gallery.

Re-arrested in February 2014, he escaped again 14 months later.

In a secret meeting with actor Sean Penn which the Hollywood star wrote about in Rolling Stone magazine in 2016, Guzman boasted: "I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world".

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