Last Friday afternoon at around 3:30 p.m., a visibly pregnant Mexican woman tried to walk into Southern California at the San Ysidro entry point.
She presented a fraudulent non-immigrant visa to the U.S. border agent, and he detected it. So he sent her to a holding area while her fingerprints were run through a system.
It turned out that her real name is Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, and she is the daughter of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who U.S. officials have described as the most wanted drug trafficker in the world.
According to a criminal complaint, the daughter waived her right to an attorney and began to talk. She told U.S. officials she wanted to give birth to her child in the United States (where the child would automatically get U.S. citizenship).
Guzman Salazar’s mother is María Alejandrina Salazar Hernández, a former wife of the drug lord but one who the U.S. Treasury claims is an integral part of his narcotics and crime empire.
I’ve been trading notes about this case with Sylvia Longmire, author of Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico’s Drug Wars, and she’s pointed out several things. Most importantly, hardly anyone has ever heard of this daughter. Guzman has coupled with a lot of women but those who follow his rise appear not to have known that he had a daughter with Salazar Hernandez.
Even more curiously, the daughter did not keep a low profile. She graduated in 2005 from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara as a surgeon, according to this website. That would put her in high spheres of Guadalajara society.
Here’s another curiosity: If she’s got the $1 billion empire of the Sinaloa Cartel behind her, why did she use a cheap fake visa to cross into California? Surely, the cartel has ways of doing very good fakes.
The money behind her became evident after her arrest. She and her family hired high-powered and expensive San Diego attorneys, Guadalupe Valencia and Jan E. Ronis, both well-known for defending accused drug traffickers.
So how many kids does Chapo Guzman have? Best guess now is at least 10.
It was widely thought before now that Guzman had three sons with his first wife: César, Iván Archivaldo and Jesús Alfredo. Then with second wife Griselda Lopez Perez, Guzman is thought to have had three more sons and a daughter: Edgar, Joaquín, Ovidio and Griselda Guadalupe.
In 2007, Guzman robbed the cradle for his third marriage, wedding 18-year-old Emma Coronel, the niece of fellow Sinaloa trafficker Ignacio Coronel. His bride made news last year when she entered the United States and gave birth to twin girls in an LA County hospital. Since Coronel is a U.S. citizen, border authorities said they had no reason to stop her.
So now it turns out that Guzman had a fourth child with his first wife and she tried to imitate his latest wife by going to give birth in the United States.
I’d bet money that his list of offspring is even longer than we know now. It's also a safe bet that some of those children will try to visit the United States.