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"El Chapo's" Mother Dies in Culiacan Hospital Clinic at the Age of 95

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“Socalj” for Borderland Beat

Consuelo Loera Pérez, the mother of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, died this Sunday. “Chapo’s” birthplace in 1957 was in Badiraguato, in the town of La Tuna. She is the grandmother of Ovidio, Joaquín, Iván Archivaldo, and Jesús Alfredo Guzmán.

Doña Consuelo, 95 years old, had been admitted to a clinic in Culiacán around 15 days ago due to health problems.  One of Consuelo Loera’s last appearances was in March 2020, when she was seen on video greeting President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, during one of his visits to Badiraguato. She received a US visa to visit her son, with help from AMLO.

US Visa to Visit ‘Chapo’

The mother of convicted drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán said that the US Embassy in Mexico City granted her a visa so she could visit her son in prison. Sitting in a wheelchair in front of the embassy, Consuelo Loera said she and her two daughters were both approved for visas to travel to the United States.

“Thank God, the US Embassy gave me the permission,” she said. A US official declined to confirm that the visa was granted.

Jose Luis González, a lawyer for Guzmán, said Loera was given a paper after the interview stating that US officials would get in touch if they needed more information. González also said the three women were approved for travel. “Did you see how excited she was?” said González, repeating Loera’s statement that she wanted to hug her son.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador lobbied for the visa to be issued after receiving a letter in February from Loera asking for assistance. In the letter, passed to López Obrador while he was in Guzman’s home state of Sinaloa to announce a highway project, Loera described herself as “suffering and desperate” to see her son.

The president said he intervened out of empathy for the mother. When Guzmán was convicted in the US in February, López Obrador said: “Let this serve as a lesson to show that money doesn’t buy true happiness.”

Meeting AMLO

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador defended his weekend handshake with the mother of “El Chapo”, calling her a “respectable old lady” and seeking to cast his critics as the principal menace to the country.

In a 30-second video posted on Twitter, Lopez Obrador could be seen approaching Maria Consuelo Loera’s car, parked on a dirt road on the outskirts of Badiraguato, a mountainous municipality in the northwestern state of Sinaloa.

Surrounded by onlookers, Lopez Obrador told Loera she need not get out of the car, they shook hands and after a brief exchange he told her he had “received her letter.”

Questioned about the meeting at his regular morning news conference, Lopez Obrador was unrepentant and quickly blamed “adversaries” for trying to make a “scandal” out of it.

“Sometimes, because it’s my job, I have to shake hands with white collar criminals who haven’t even lost their respectability, how am I not going to greet an old lady who leaves her hand outstretched?” he asked reporters. In the video, Lopez Obrador could also be seen talking to one of El Chapo’s lawyers, Jose Luis Gonzalez Meza.

In 2019, it was announced that the Loera family would be funding the building of a public university in his hometown region. This information was confirmed by the lawyer José Luis González Meza, legal representative of the mother of “El Chapo” Guzmán. He and his family plan the construction of a public university in Badiraguato, Sinaloa.

In addition, González Meza explained that the family expects Andrés Manuel López Obrador, president of Mexico, to lay the first stone in the new university.

“What we are waiting for in the first visit of López Obrador to Sinaloa, go to Badiraguato and put down the first stone with the mother of ”El Chapo”, María Consuelo Loera Pérez, and begin the construction work of the university, ” he said.

2014 Interview

According to a rare interview with Guzmán’s mother, her son dreamt of building an empire for as long as she could remember.

“Even as a little child, he had ambitions,” Loera told filmmakers PBS Frontline Angus Macqueen and Guillermo Galdos, who sat down with her on their quest to find and interview Guzmán before his 2014 arrest by Mexican authorities.

“I remember he had a lot of paper money — little notes of 50’s and 5’s,” she recalled to them. “He’d count and recount them, then tie them up in little piles. He’d say, ‘Mama, save them for me.’ It was just colored paper, but they looked real. He piled them up carefully … Ever since he was little, he always had hopes.”

Consuelo’s home in La Tuna.

Hometown Attack

In June 2016, 150 heavily armed men reportedly stormed into the community of La Tuna, the home of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s mother in Mexico’s Sinaloa state, looting homes and leaving multiple people dead. At least three people from La Tuna and surrounding communities were killed, according to La Jornada en Línea. Local news site Riodoce reports that as many as eight people were killed in the raid.

The raiding party also sacked the home of Consuelo Loera, the mother of “El Chapo” Guzmán, who lives in a house built by Guzmán in the community where he was born. They took offroad RZRs, and dirtbikes, and cut telephone and internet lines.


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