Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, January 28, 2019

El Chapo Trial: The Circus Continues--Only 2 on the defense witness list and Chapo isn't one

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat

Update: Chapo will not testify, defense has only 2 agents on their witness list  attempting to impeach Alex Cifuentes testimony

Isaias Valdez Rios aka El Memin or Memo, finishes up his stint on the witness stand.

After the harrowing execution tale he gave last week, defense attorneys look to damage hos credibility. 

Arm chair critics can offer up an opinion of how “devastating” testimony is from a killer, but without supporting evidence no one knows what is in the mind of jurors.  Today, in the world of forensics, jurors expect some direct evidence to accompany hearsay.


Memín says he stayed in a Washington DC hotel when he began his cooperation with the feds.  In his hotel room, he had access to TV, phone and internet.

Balarezo: So, some of the things they asked about, you then looked them up on the internet----right?
Memin “Asi es”  [that’s right]

Balarezo highlighting  inconsistencies in Memín's testimony about torture, gunfights, and killings.

Example: Memín said he ran a guy over during a shootout, but a pic of his vehicle shows no blood on the bumper.

His explanation is the guy he hit was kneeling, therefore  no blood.

Balarezo says about possible inconsistencies; “If they can't believe you on the little things, how can they believe you on the big things?"

Balarezo asked Memín about the guy who was tortured with a clothes iron. Memín responded that he could remember: "it even had the little holes where the iron left marks, where the steam comes out." The hope is to cast doubt on his testimony and suggest he is exaggerating.

Balarezo: "I think it's pretty common knowledge that escaping from jail isn't a crime, correct?"

Dead silence.

Memin: "You're saying that's not a crime?"

The question was asked again: "Yes, yes, it is a crime," Memín said. [and Mexico is one of a handful of nations where it is not a crime]

Not sure if El Memin is a total con, yet the aftermath of a shootout is provided in video to the jury.

Confusion reigns supreme as the defense appears to purposefully muddle the stories, switching out characters and contorting narratives.

Defense is limited to questioning of agents about EPN bribes

Defense attorney Purpura strongly argued with Judge Cogan regarding calling federal agents.  The agents debriefed Alex Cifuentes about bribes allegedly given to Enrique Pena Nieto.

Cogan stands firm in denying and limiting such questions.

Defense attorney Lichtman weighed in, arguing that Alex Cifuentes was inconsistent about the alleged bribes to Mexican presidents.

Lichtman: "It is directly related to his bias and his motives to protect the US government and they're doing that to protect the Mexican government."

Judge Cogan : "I don't think any of that matters."

[perhaps the bribes may be irrelevant–but the fact Cifuentes changed his story and can’t recall details, seems to be very relevant. In other words, it’s not the substance but the action by Cifuentes]

Cogan says he doesn’t want to waste the jury’s time---.

Here is Cogan's ruling below

The circus continues

Actor Alejandro Edda gave a press conference on the courthouse steps to a gaggle of reporters.  Whose idea was it to get the actor in?  Not the prosecutors for sure.

Chapo on the stand?

Attorney William Purpura asked when the judge would advise Chapo about his right to testify.  Silly question when one knows the answer to his own question.

It will be during the defense evidence/witnesses being presented.


After the government finished their case in chief, Judge Cogan then asked Chapo if he would be testifying.

Chapo spoke in open court answering:

Chapo: "Señor judge, me and my attorneys have spoken about this and I will reserve."

Judge: "Reserve?"

Chapo: "Yes, I will not testify."

About consulting with his attorneys regarding his taking the witness stand, "Yes, they counseled me about it and I agree with them."

The government’s case in chief was over 35 days of testimony, and 13 cooperators took the stand as part of their agreement with the feds, when they entered into plea deals, affording them such criminal candy such as; shorter sentences, protective witness program for them and their families, who were brought from Mexico for their safety, even allowing them to keep some of their dirty drug money, “to get started in their new life”, employment etc.

This is the normal in the failed drug war, makes deals, “overkill” with too many number of deals made with bad criminals who are as bad or worse than the defendant in this case.  Yes, Chapo must pay for his criminality, but did the prosecution really need to make deals with that many bad guys?

I say no.


  1. This show has had its fair share of distractions, I often forget it is about Chapo. ✋🏻😐 I can’t wait for it to end so we can move on to the next big thing—the sentence reductions for the prosecution’s witnesses 😂

  2. He should take the stand to defend himself and counter attack lol

  3. A circus today, I want to see a pony show.

  4. What’s with the lawyer’s fees? Is it true they’re getting paid after the trial ends?

    Is it like that on every trial?

    1. They got paid already, those that know, know.

    2. I am not one of those who know lol

  5. it should have been chapo who cross examined the witnesses

  6. Chapo Guzman is a rich man in prison he gets to see his children grow up and enjoy all the millions he left in land houses and bank accounts from money laundering business established by his lawyers in Mexico at the end he will be spending his days comfortably knowing his family will enjoy all the money he made and the dea never made him forfeit anything close to what he bought with his money

    1. U are correct.
      His objective was fulfilled. Due to his age and the sentence going to be given.
      Everyone is taken care of. Even former Mexican officials who let him operate and will not see a day in prison. Moreover, with their illicit riches.


    2. Sure thing buddy. He would sacrifice any one of his kids to be a free man

    3. @1:52PM
      Wow, so you have supernatural powers to see the future.

  7. Its outrageous how this guys testimony and stories are allowed?
    In a lot of cases a defendant and his prior convictions even if heinous,cannot be accessed so a jury can concentrate with impartiality on the crime he is being tried for?This guy could have said Chapo killed fuckin Tupac for all its relevance here?
    What has this to do with hearsay?Fuckin everything,Chapo is doomed with a stacked deck off the forces of righteous people's and the whole force of government.Yeah man Chapo is no fuckin angel and deserves his time,but dont call this free and impartial

  8. I saw the footage of the actor taking pics with fans LMAO Yet another distraction. That would have been a great scene in a movie--a trial? Not so much.

    I am not surprised that he decided not to testify. Can you imagine the cross examination? Chivis, I agree w/ you. Not all of the witnesses deserved those privileges.

    Did the US seize any $$$? If they haven't, I am 100% sure they will go through great lengths to find some money. Typical $$ hungry system. I love this country and I feel blessed to live here, but we all know the juiciest and most important part of extraditions is the seized assets.

  9. Chapo should have said to all the witnesses and every one that snitched on him.. Remember we're gonna see each other again in hell and im still gonna be the boss that would have send chills to everyones spines.

    1. No there is no he'll. Only people who still believe in fairy tales like you would be scared

    2. How the hell do you know?
      Guess you’ll find out..

  10. Great article.
    I think 2018 was the best year for BB but let's see what 19' brings.

  11. 1:52 . I guess your saying the glass is one tenth full . Or are you saying chapo won in the end ?

  12. I think it's a big mistake by him not testifying. I mean I would want to defend myself if I were in his shoes but then again if Chapo was to appeal after and gets granted another trial they can always take what he said in the first trail and use it against him. I think him and his lawyers are playing it safe.

  13. The only heavyweight enemy chapo really wanted behind bars or dead for giving him hell for taking siege in Guatemala was Benjamin Arellano Felix. Arellano Felix should testify

    1. He has no reason to testify anymore, hes almost done with his sentence.

  14. I completely agree Chivis. Was it really worth it to pass out all those deals just to get Chapo?

    1. 12:02; The drug war and the people it enriches defend their government expenditures and contracts with propoganda. It is certainly not “justice” for the people that is their priority, but propoganda to Pat each other on the backs and keep President Nixon’s initiated enrichment of the businesses and interests that fund congressional campaigns in all 50 states and the commonwealth of Puero Rico. If the government ever investigated this financing and quid-pro-quo arrangement it would be the world’s largest Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations case in history going back half a century.

  15. Cold blooded killer both in the physical sense and otherwise. How many people in the USA and the EU died because of the tons of illegal drugs he pushed out of Mexico?
    No pity, he's not a folk hero. At the end of the day he was a master criminal. Those attempting to martyrize him are simple thinkers.

    1. Interesting comment.
      Can we define the atrocities of wars committed by countries as martyrs or otherwise?
      Views are a dime a dozen. Depending on who you ask?

      Inequality of actions are often questioned by many. Its Usually those powers that give the final impression of what truth is.

    2. 6:03; How many Chapo killed by way of an OD? Certainly less than our own US based opiod pain killer companies have killed, and fewer than our politicians FDA and doctors have killed. In fact; USA is the 3rd world country because most sophisticated countries (including Mexico) do not allow the rampant distribution orgies that the good ole US of A’s consumer protecting FDA allowed US doctors to get hundreds of thousands of pre-teens with broken bones to get hooked on opioids. I don’t see why everyone is mad at Chapo b/c he just did what our government and politician does everyday - sell out its fellow man for the interest of a dollar.

  16. Lol okay!some may beg to differ. the poor people they once were
    May never be again for many generations
    Just food for thought for the big thinkers.

  17. Chapo never had a chance to begin with, too much people in his circle snitched.. I know there is hardly any honor in that drug game but that's ridiculous that they ALL snitched . Never has that happened


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