Emma Coronel Aispuro yearns for a calm life.
"(I want) to be calm, to be somewhere in the world where we can be at ease [...] I don’t dream of big things," said the 29-year-old former beauty queen. "Tranquility, happiness, nothing out of the ordinary."
But that is not the life she has had.
Coronel, the wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, now lives a life closely followed in the public eye, an interest that seems to grow exponentially by the day. The trial of her husband, currently in federal courts in New York, has led to unprecedented public interest inside and outside the United States, not only because of the charges he's facing, but also because of the legend behind the kingpin who is said to be the leader of the most powerful cartel in Mexico.
However, the mother of two insists she would not change anything about her life and in her first public interview in years, Coronel reveals to Noticias Telemundo in an exclusive interview with journalists Marisset Vereni and Rebeka Smyth.
"I am (happy) with the life that I have, of the life that I was given, of the husband that I have, of the daughters that I have, of the family that I have... I am very satisfied. I have also had hard times, but I have always said that God does not put things in your path that he isn’t sure you will overcome”, she said with a solemn look during the two-on-one.
The daughter of a farmer, Coronel was born in Los Angeles and married Guzman as a teenager on her 18th birthday according to several reports. In the last decade, the couple welcomed twins, María Joaquina and Emely, also born in Los Angeles and who are said to speak fluent English.
But that warm welcome and “peaceful” chapter life didn’t last. Now, Coronel accompanies her husband on his third arrest, every single day in the federal courthouse. Something she admits is "very hard." But she hasn’t given up.
"I think it’s what any wife would do in my place, be with her husband in difficult times," Coronel explained. "In one way or another so that he feels, and sees me present, and feels my support."
Guzman’s fate will not be known for at least three months and until then Coronel and their seven-year-old daughters pray for him. Although they don’t know what the future holds, she insists she doesn’t like to think about the possibility of an unhappy ending-- the kind where the father of her kids is separated from their family.
"I prefer to keep my mind concentrated on that everything will be fine for him and for us," the mother said.
"El Chapo" faces 17 counts for alleged links to drug trafficking in the U.S. and Mexico and, although cameras have not been allowed in court since the start of his trial on November 5, his name echos on TV channels around the world and is a fixed topic when it comes to international headlines. And, well, he likes the attention, Coronel says.
"You have to be honest, I think he did like it, he does like it a little," said Coronel with a soft smile referring to that public prominence. At the same time, she stressed the necessity of that coverage so that "media pressure is present and everything can be clearer and everyone can see what really happens" in that courtroom.
"El Chapo" was extradited to New York from Mexico in January 2017 and charged with several counts in multiple states. Coronel has not been able to spend time with her husband since his capture and a judge denied her request on November 8 to give him a hug. Even so, the loyal wife continues in her struggle to reunify her family, in a home that she says never had any suspicious activity within its walls. Until then she’ll continue showing up to court.
"It's something that for me [...] it's good for me, it makes me feel good to be able to see him, to be able to know what's going on and that he feels that I am here for him, supporting him," said Coronel.
The special will air tonight at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT and 7 p.m. PDT) on Telemundo. Click here to watch live in Spanish. An updated video with subtitles will be posted here after the story has aired.