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MEXICO CITY – The wife of jailed drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, born in the United States, was arrested on Monday for allegedly helping her husband run his drug empire and escape from a Mexican maximum security prison, the US Department of Justice said.

Emma Coronel, 31, who married Mr. Guzmán as a teenage beauty queen, has been arrested at Dulles Airport in Washington. For five years, while her husband was on the run and in jail, Ms Coronel acted as Mr Guzmán’s courier, sending instructions to associates that dealt with increasing heroin production, paying pots -of wine, the purchase of weapons and the attempted dismantling of Mr. Guzmán. from prison, according to an affidavit of arrest.

Ms Coronel, believed to be Mr Guzmán’s third or fourth wife, is accused of conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana in the United States, according to the report. affidavit signed by an officer of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She could not be reached for comment. Court records do not mention Ms Coronel’s lawyer.

Ms. Coronel’s arrest could add further friction to US-Mexico relations. It comes months after the October arrest in Los Angeles of General Salvador Cienfuegos, Mexico’s former defense minister, as he and his family arrived on a family vacation. A month later, US officials dropped the charges after Mexico complained that it had been kept in the dark about the US investigation and threatened to cut off drug cooperation.

The former general was then sent back to Mexico where he was ultimately cleared of the charges after Mexican prosecutors said the US record was weak. The US Department of Justice has said it supports his cause.

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