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Vox Sentences: The rest of El Chapo’s life

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El Chapo faces life in prison; 12 defendants are on trial in Madrid for their roles in the Catalan independence movement.

El Chapo convicted on 10 counts

Alfredo Estrella/AFP via Getty Images
  • Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, 61, faces life in prison after a three-month trial ended Tuesday in New York. Guzmán was found guilty on 10 charges relating to his business running a drug cartel worth billions of dollars. [NYT / Alan Feuer]
  • This isn’t Guzmán’s first time in prison. He was convicted in Mexico and sent to a Mexican prison, but escaped — twice. Now it’s the US’s turn to try to contain him. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • For nearly 30 years, Guzmán led the Sinaloa cartel, which is still in operation. Now the US will try to seize $14 billion in illegal drug profits. Prosecutors have evidence that Guzmán’s operations transported cocaine and other drugs via tunnels, trains, ships, and, in one case, a submarine. [WSJ / Nicole Hong and Katie Honan]
  • More than 50 witnesses testified to Guzmán’s violent practices against his challengers in the dramatic trial. He will be sentenced in June. [NPR / Sasha Ingber]
  • 29-year-old Emma Coronel Aispuro, Guzmán’s wife and the mother of their two daughters, was present for every day of the three-month trial. She did not testify against her husband, and their children have visited their father in jail since he was extradited by the US in 2017. [NYT / Emily Palmer]
  • It’s still too soon to tell whether Guzmán’s conviction is a win for officials trying to stop the flow of drugs into the US. Another leader is likely to take his place, and even if the Sinaloa cartel were dissolved, another organization would likely pick up the pieces of the profitable drug trade. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • Tunnels were the secret to El Chapo’s success. This video by Vox’s Mac Schneider shows how an underground network included railways and elevators to transport narcotics — and help Guzmán break out of prison. [Vox / Mac Schneider]

Twelve Catalan separatists on trial

  • A dozen people went on trial before the Spanish Supreme Court in Madrid Tuesday for their roles leading the failed 2017 Catalan secession movement. [NYT / Raphael Minder]
  • In October 2017, Spanish courts declared that an independence referendum by the Catalan government was illegal. Catalan separatists didn’t back down, made an illegal declaration of independence, and confronted Spanish forces sent by the national government to quell the movement. Madrid deemed the result of the referendum illegitimate. [NYT / Raphael Minder]
  • Some of those on trial include the former Catalan vice president, the regional economy minister, and the former speaker of the Catalan Parliament — but former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont won’t be present. A ruling by a German court helped Puigdemont avoid extradition after he fled in 2017 to Belgium, where he remains. [The Local Spain]
  • Vox, a Spanish right-wing political party (no relation!) and two other parties called on thousands of people to protest Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez prior to the trial. These parties are asking for new elections after Sánchez accepted 21 demands by separatists. [El País / Natalia Junquera and Elsa García de Blas]
  • Sánchez’s administration is doing everything it can to get the approval of the international community. In one of the most decentralized countries in the world, the independence of the Spanish judiciary in the Catalan trial has raised skepticism. [Politico Europe / Diego Torres]


  • Negotiations over teachers’ baseline salary continued in Denver on Tuesday. It was day two of the citywide teachers strike, but some teachers who receive bonuses for working at “high-priority” schools aren’t participating. [Chalkbeat / Philissa Cramer]
  • The Warsaw summit co-hosted by the US and Poland this week may be the first major meeting between Israel and Arab states like Saudi Arabia. The fundamentally divided participants will discuss an agenda for potential peace in the Middle East. [BBC News / Jonathan Marcus]
  • Americans have more confidence in special counsel Robert Mueller than in President Trump, according to a new poll. Nearly all respondents said they would want to see the results of Mueller’s probe into the 2016 presidential election. [Politico / Matthew Choi]
  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is planning a statewide “listening tour” to engage various communities on the topic of race. The Democratic governor has reasserted a new agenda after a photograph of a man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit in Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook resurfaced. [BuzzFeed News / Darren Sands]
  • The life of Shannon Kent, who served five overseas combat deployments, was the mother of two sons, and battled cancer, shows that female service members do as much dangerous military work as men. [NYT / Richard A. Oppel Jr.]


“I unequivocally apologize. At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA, or the fossil-fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.” [A Twitter statement by Rep. Ilhan Omar regarding her recent comments about the influence of AIPAC funding in US politics, via the Atlantic]

Watch this: The 70% top tax rate, explained with potatoes

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for a 70 percent top tax rate on the superrich. [YouTube / Alvin Chang, Kim Mas, and Mallory Brangan]

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