El Chapo life sentence: Who is El Chapo? What did he do? The horrors of his life revealed

El Chapo was found guilty of 10 charges, including drug trafficking and money laundering, in February. On Wednesday, a US judge sentenced him to life in prison plus 30 years. During his trial, gruelling details of the atrocities committed under his reign were revealed.

Before his sentencing, El Chapo, 62, told the court his detention in the US had been “psychological, emotional, mental torture 24 hours a day”.

Prosecutors said all the evidence at trial proved him to be a “ruthless and bloodthirsty leader”, and said life in prison was “just punishment”.

El Chapo’s lawyers claimed he was a scapegoat for the cartel at large, though they spent just 30 minutes presenting his defence.

The jury convicted him on all 10 counts he faced after more than 50 witnesses gave testimony.

Who is El Chapo?

El Chapo was born into poverty in rural Mexico to build a drug empire worth billions of dollars.

During his trial, details emerged which provided a rare glimpse into the world of Mexico’s notorious Sinaloa cartel, as well as how El Chapo became its mastermind.

He was convicted of trafficking thousands of kilos of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine.

But the brutality of his time at the helm went far beyond the trafficking of illegal drugs.

During the trial, witnesses described horrific violence and abuse.

One witness spoke of a “murder room” in his mansion on the US border, which featured a drain on the floor to more easily clean up after killings and sound proofing “so no noise comes out”.

Documents unsealed just two days before jury deliberations claimed El Chapo would drug and rape girls as young as 13 years old.

A woman named Comadre Maria would routinely send El Chapo photographs of young girls that he and his associates could pick from.

The documents allege that El Chapo called the youngest girls “his vitamins” and said raping them gave him “life”.

Another witness described how two people originally from Sinaloa who had joined the rival Los Zetas cartel were deemed traitors and rounded up by Guzmán’s hitmen.

For more than three hours the drug lord brutally beat them, Guzmán’s former bodyguard said.

She said: “They were completely like rag dolls - their bones were totally broken. They could not move.”

They were then burned after being shot in the head.

The same witness described how one man was tortured with an iron and shot before being buried alive.

A former cartel leader told the court how El Chapo once had his own cousin killed after the man lied about being out of town.

One alarming high-level accusation was that ormer Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who served from 2012-18, accepted a $100m (£77m) bribe from El Chapo.

El Chapo managed to escape from prison twice.

He was arrested in January 2016 after escaping from a Mexican prison through a tunnel five months earlier, and extradited to the US in 2017.

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