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El Chapo's Brother-in-Law Is Granted an Amparo by Federal Judge

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No photos of Inés Omar so pictured is El Chapo, Emma Coronel and Coronel Barrera.

For years, courts have repeatedly denied Inés Omar Coronel Aispuro, the brother-in-law of El Chapo, the right to an early prison release due to a lack of “good conduct” based on a record of disciplinary issues. However a judge just granted an amparo to him which may allow him to be released from prison. 

Inés Omar Coronel Aispuro is the brother of Emma Coronel, who is the current wife of Sinaloa Cartel’s former leader Joaquín Guzmán alias El Chapo. 

For some background, Inés Omar Coronel Aispuro and his father Inés Coronel Barrera were captured in Agua Prieta, Sonora on April 30 2013. At the time of their arrest they were found to be in possession of a rifle-type firearm. They were also found to be transporting 20 rectangular packages with marijuana inside of their vehicle. For further reading on their arrest, please see this Borderland Beat article

Inés Omar Coronel Aispuro, henceforth called Omar Coronel to prevent confusion with his father, was brought up on charges of carrying firearms for the exclusive use of the Armed Forces and drug charges at the level of commercial purposes. Despite being arrested in 2013, Omar Coronel was not officially sentenced for those two charges until January 24, 2019. 

In 2019, he was sentenced to serve 9 years in prison, with time served, which means the time he has already served since his 2013 detention counted towards those 9 years. This gave him an expected release date in the year 2022. He is currently imprisoned in Federal Center for Social Readaptation (CERESO) Number 13 in the state of Oaxaca. 

It is relatively common for inmates to request a release prior to the release date given during sentencing. However, inmates requesting an early release will commonly be dismissed if their prison record does not demonstrate good conduct. The most common way in which a judge is believed to determine “good conduct” is by seeing a lack of disciplinary actions on an inmate’s prison record. 

In this regard, Omar Coronel has not fared well. In February 2020, he requested an early release and he was denied. Court documents from his request revealed that his prison record showed multiple disciplinary actions. These disciplinary actions were primarily for offenses related to the possession of sharp instruments and “willful misconduct that affects the operation or provision of supplies of the prison”. 

In December 2020, Omar appealed the court’s denial however the court upheld the previous decision and denied his early release again. 

Then in February 2021, Omar requested a new hearing for early release and he was yet again denied. In response to this, Omar Coronel filed an injunction. 

Just recently Judge José Alfonso Montalvo Martínez, head of the First Unitary Court in Criminal Matters, chose to grant Omar Coronel an amparo based on his injunction. 

An amparo is a very powerful provision unique to Mexican law. It aims to protect the individual citizen and their basic rights while also protecting the Mexican constitution itself by ensuring that the constitution’s core principles are not violated by the actions of the state. In the most practical sense though, an amparo provides for a constitutional review by a Federal Court at any stage of a case, even in early investigation as to whether a citizen’s rights are being violated by the state. 

With this amparo, Judge Montalvo Martínez has ordered the Third Unitary Court to annul its resolution on the case and analyze the legality of the ruling regarding the requirement of good conduct. 

Judge Montalvo Martínez writes “It is important to establish that disciplinary corrections should not be the determining factor to qualify the category of ‘good behavior’ for the purposes of granting or not the pre-release benefits, but that this aspect should be analyzed in an integral way with the others elements of which data on their reintegration are noted.”

Of note, Emma and Omar’s father Inés Coronel Barrera along with Omar himself have already gone through a long legal battle over an amparo based on claims of torture at the hands of federal agents. This legal battle was a major contributing factor to the delay between Omar’s 2013 arrest and 2019 sentencing. Omar and Emma have a brother named Edgar who is also imprisoned, on charges of weapon and drug possession. 

For a brief overview of the Coronel family as it relates to this story, including how Omar is related to the infamous Nacho Coronel, see below.

Sources: Milenio, Vanguardia, Político, TV Azteca, La Silla Rota


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