‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s mother dies at 94 as Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador pays respect to jailed drug lord’s family two years after she asked politician to let him return to native country
- María Loera, the mother of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, died on Sunday in Culiacán, Mexico
- Loera had been ill and was receiving care at a private medical facility, where staffers pronounced her dead
- Loera, a mother of 11, had in the past appealed to Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for help in returning El Chapo from the U.S.
The mother of notorious former drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán died at the age of 94 in Mexico on Sunday, local media outlets reported.
María Loera had fallen ill and spent the last three weeks receiving care at a private hospital in Culiacán, the capital city of the northwest state of Sinaloa.
Staffers at the facility called 911 around 2:30 pm local time to report her death, El Chapo’s lawyer José González told Milenio news outlet.
Although the cause of her death has not been determined, the outlet reported that Loera may have died from natural causes because she was receiving medicine from a nebulizer.
María Loera, the mother of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, died at a private hospital in Culiacán, Mexico, on Sunday
Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán co-founded the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most powerful Mexican criminal organizations
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador offered his condolences to El Chapo’s family during his daily press briefing Monday morning at the National Palace in Mexico City.
‘Respect to the family. I was reading that the lady was already (ill) … any human being who loses their life deserves respect and also consideration for their family members, for all those who go through these ordeals,’ he said.
‘Nothing human is foreign to me and we must not hate and we must put into practice that philosophical, universal principle of love for our neighbor and only by being good can we be happy.’
Loera reportedly led a quiet life including frequent religious activities.
However, she made headlines in March 2020 when she greeted López Obrador while she was sitting in a parked vehicle on a dirt road in Badiraguato, where El Chapo and her other 10 children were born and raised.
In 2019, María Consuelo sought humanitarian visas for her and her two daughters to visit Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán in the United States, but the petition was rejected by the U.S. embassy in Mexico City
Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán is serving a life sentence at a maximum-security prison in Colorado
The impromptu chat had taken place just a week after she had sent the leftist president a letter pleading for El Chapo’s return to Mexico, so that he could serve the remainder of his life sentence there because he was illegally extradited to the United States in January 2017.
At the time, López Obrador told reporters that Loera had told him that she had not seen her jailed son in five years and that she did not ‘want to die without seeing him.’
In 2019, the president received a letter from Loera, who was seeking assistance in obtaining humanitarian visas for herself and two daughters to travel to visit El Chapo at the maximum-security prison in Florence, Colorado.
That petition was denied by the United States embassy in Mexico City.
The head of Mexico’s state media agency, Jenaro Villamil, described Loera as ‘a simple woman from Sinaloa who always denied publicly that (her son) was the head of the most powerful drug cartel in Mexico, despite the hundreds of deaths caused by the drug war.’
El Chapo led the Sinaloa Cartel in bloody drug turf battles that claimed the lives of thousands of Mexicans. He escaped twice from Mexican prisons, one time through a mile-long tunnel running from his cell.
After he was extradited to New York, his three-month trial included tales of grisly killings, political payoffs, cocaine hidden in jalapeno cans and jewel-encrusted guns.
He was convicted of running an industrial-scale smuggling operation and now is serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison in Colorado.
Earlier this year, Mexico extradited one of the drug lord’s sons, Ovidio Guzmán, to the U.S. to face drug trafficking, money laundering and other charges.
He is believed to have led the Sinaloa Cartel’s push to produce and export fentanyl to the United States, where it has been blamed for about 70,000 overdose deaths annually.
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