Prosecution rests on the trial of & El Chapo & # 39; after calling the 56th and last witness


Federal prosecutors opened the case Monday against the defendant of drug dealer Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who told the lower court that he would not take the position in his defense.

"I spoke with my lawyers and I will reserve them," Guzman told District Judge Brian Cogan in Spanish when asked if he wanted to testify. Cogan asked Guzman if he had been fully advised of his right to testify and was certain that he would waive that right. Guzman answered yes to both questions before he sat down.

Prosecutors have called 56 witnesses to testify against Guzman since the trial began in mid-November. In contrast, Guzman's lawyers should call only two witnesses for the defense. Both are scheduled to testify Tuesday before closing the discussions Wednesday and Thursday. Judge Cogan said the jury could begin deliberations on Thursday afternoon.


The trial received an unexpected dose of Hollywood flavor earlier in the day when the actor who played Guzman in the Netflix series "Narcos: Mexico" sat in the courtroom behind Guzman.

Mexican actor Alejandro Edda said he came to federal court in Brooklyn as part of his investigation. Saying he had never seen Guzman, Edda said it was "surreal" to take a close look at the man facing life imprisonment for driving the murderous Sinaloa Cartel.

Edda's presence at the courthouse created a bit of turmoil, prompting a US Marshal to remind those present "no handshakes, nothing positive. This is not Comedy Central. Not laughing.

Speaking after he left court, Edda said he felt shaken after seeing Guzman for the first time – particularly when the Sinaloa accused boss smiled at him. "It's the guy everyone talks about doing all those things," he continued. "This guy is the leader of a big … cartel … and having him so close, it shook me. I'm intimidated by that."

Edda noted that, as a Mexican well aware of Sinaloa's reputation, he felt very sorry for the crimes allegedly ordered by Guzman. And he seemed to have made up his mind about Guzman's fate.


"I think he's guilty. There are many, many horrible things he did," he told reporters outside the courtroom. "The sad part is that I know he's not the only one. I know it's not just the Sinaloan guys who are the thugs, there are a lot of thugs around us."

Edda did not speak to Guzman – who clearly knew who the actor was and seemed to enjoy his presence – but he had time to greet Emma Coronel Aispuro, Chapo's wife, who has been a constant presence at the trial. They exchanged a kiss on the cheek as they greeted each other, talked briefly, and mounted an elevator together.

Bryan Llenas contributed to this report


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