Trial begins against 'El Chapo' in the US under maximum security

Trial begins against 'El Chapo' in the US under maximum security

NEW YORK.

Dozens of people will be interviewed today in a New York federal court to choose the jury that will decide the future of Mexican Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán Loerawhose judgment started between strong security measures and against whom U.S. government asks life imprisonment by drug trafficking.

After almost two years if it had been extradited to U.S, Guzmán Loeraleader of Pacific Cartel, the main exporter of drugs to this country, faces this morning a judgment who does not plan to deal with the substance of the matter until next November 13, behind the jury selection.

Due to the extreme security imposed by the authorities since the alleged capo arrived in New York, the jury is being selected out of the public eye and before only five journalists who must inform in turn the large group of media covered by this historical and media judgment.

Initially the number of possible jurors amounted to more than a thousand people, then it was reduced to just over a hundred and finally it is unknown at the moment exactly how many will be interviewed.

Twelve juries and six substitutes must be elected and their names, where they live and work, will not be known.

The members of the trial will go to court and return to their homes guarded by sheriffs as it is feared that allies of Guzmán Loera may attempt on his life.

The Sinaloa cartel is the one with the greatest international presence, according to the DEA, the United States anti-drug agency.

The rules imposed by the judge of the case, Brian Cogan, include the lawyers and the prosecution, since they can only have two representatives each during the interrogation.

According to Judge Cogan, this process must ensure the rights of the jury to their safety, that of the press to inform and due process of law to the accused.

The names of witnesses, former collaborators, subordinates remain secret.

Since his extradition to New York, authorized by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, with the agreement that he will not be sentenced to death, Guzmán Loera is kept in the safest wing of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Mannhattan.

US prosecutors say that as head of the Pacific Cartel since 2003, Guzmán led the movement of tons of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines across the border and into the United States.

If convicted, Guzmán could spend the rest of his life in prison.

His transfer to Brooklyn is done under extreme security measures that include a convoy of vehicles and armed agents, as well as a helicopter that oversees the process, as well as security in the court building.

The Brooklyn Bridge is closed in its path.

The selection of the jury begins today with a large number of agents guarding the building, as well as canine units that even came to the courtroom, from where the press covers this process.

It is expected that the trial may be extended between three and four months.

Although the charges in the case are all linked to drug trafficking, it is also expected that the prosecuting attorneys will present evidence that Guzmán was involved in several murder plans during clashes with rival cartels.

His defense lawyers have given few clues about his legal strategy.

One of them, Eduardo Balarezo, said in a court document that he will try to prove that Guzmán was only a "lieutenant" who acted under the orders of others.

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