Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is renowned around the world as the now-imprisoned leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, described by the U.S. Justice Department as one of the most “prolific, violent and powerful” drug cartels ever.
He’s perhaps the largest-looming figure in Mexico’s drug war, which is estimated to have caused the deaths of over 100,000 —mostly innocent— people.
El Chapo was arrested in 2014 after evading law enforcement for over a decade, and it wasn’t because of a slip-up. It was because two of his top men decided to turn on him.
Pedro and Junior Flores are twin brothers from Little Village, Chicago—a predominantly Mexican neighborhood. At just 22-years-old, they became key figures in the international drug trafficking world.
They met El Chapo in Mexico in 2005 after they fled a U.S. drug indictment. Shortly afterwards, they were running a North American drug ring worth nearly $2 billion. The brothers were living luxurious lives in Mexican mansions with their wives and children.
But after a bloody cartel war broke out, the Flores brothers began to fear for their lives, and the lives of their families. They fled, returning to the U.S. to seek the help of law enforcement as a way to get themselves and their families out of Mexico safely. In order to get that help, they agreed to become informants.
Pedro and Junior Flores are currently serving a 14-year reduced federal sentence and are set to be the key witnesses in El Chapo’s New York trial, set to begin in November.
Behind the sensational capture and trial is a family. Mia and Olivia Flores, the wives of the brothers, recently released a book about what it’s like to be married to two of the worlds biggest drug dealers—and to have a hit out on your family from one of the most powerful cartel leaders in the world. In this segment, they talk with Latino USA about their book Cartel Wives.
Featured collage includes images from Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images and Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images, U.S. Marshals Service, and a book cover courtesy of Hachette Book Group.