El Chapo's hometown sceptical much will change after verdict

Soldiers escort drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman during a presentation to the media in Mexico City, Mexico January 8, 2016. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico Feb 13, 2019, 10.05 AM (IST)

People in the hometown of infamous cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman were sceptical much would change after he was found guilty in a US court on Tuesday of smuggling tons of drugs to the United States over a violent, colourful, decades-long career.

People expressed resignation that nothing would change in Culiacan, the capital of Mexico's Pacific Coast state of Sinaloa.

Local resident, Gildardo Velazquez said, "nobody is stopping narcotrafficking even though they captured him, even if they've given him life in prison, which they think he deserves. I don't think it will change anything here in Mexico, on the contrary, it will continue."

Meanwhile, El Chapo's lawyer held a news conference in Mexico City to say that his legal team will continue to fight his imprisonment in the United States by taking his case to various international courts.

"We will put this forward in the international courts, in the international criminal court in The Hague, in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in Amnesty International, and before the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UN," said the lawyer, Juan Pablo Badillo.

Jurors in federal court in Brooklyn on Tuesday convicted Guzman, 61, head of the Sinaloa Cartel, on all 10 counts brought by US prosecutors.

Richard Donoghue, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said he expected Guzman to receive life without parole when sentenced on June 25.

Guzman, one of the major figures in Mexican drug wars that have roiled the country since 2006, become almost legendary for escaping from Mexican high-security jails twice and avoiding massive manhunts. He cultivated a Robin Hood image among the poor in his home state of Sinaloa.

Guzman, whose nickname means "Shorty," was extradited to the United States for trial in 2017 after he was arrested in Mexico the year before.