The Guardian quoted Rosa Isela Guzmán Ortiz as saying during a three-hour interview last July that her father was not a criminal, but a businessman who had built a successful business with the approval of the Mexican government.
“My dad is not a criminal. The government is guilty,” said the 39-year-old owner of a chain of car washes, beauty salons and cafes, charging that he had been betrayed by government officials as well as his Sinaloa Cartel colleague Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada
Guzmán Ortiz showed the newspaper private family photographs of her father and letters he had sent from jail as well as several pieces of identification, including her birth certificate.
As well, a church minister in Badiraguato, Sinaloa, the cartel boss’ hometown, confirmed the daughter’s identity.
Guzmán Ortiz’ said her mother was a teacher in Guadalajara in the mid-1970s when she met Joaquín Guzmán, who was then working for the Guadalajara Cartel. Their daughter was born in Zapopan in November 1976, according to the report.
Yesterday, however, Joaquín Guzmán’s wife released a letter saying that neither she, Guzmán or other members of his family knew Guzmán Ortiz and rejected the claim that she was the drug lord’s daughter.
Emma Coronel also said she would ask for a DNA test.
The Guardian story also revealed that Joaquín Guzmán had decided to retire and turn the cartel leadership over to his son Iván Archivaldo, a plan that didn’t sit well with “El Mayo” Zambada, who is said to have been running the gang while El Chapo Guzmán was in jail.
Guzmán Ortiz claimed that the two had arranged to meet at a hotel in Mazatlán in February 2014. But Mexican authorities showed up instead and arrested Guzmán.
Said the woman claiming to be his daughter:
“He had already retired, it was just a question of smoothing it with El Mayo, but it seems the old man didn’t much like the idea,” she said. “We’re completely sure El Mayo betrayed him. They used to always meet in private places and my dad found it strange that he had suggested that place.”
Guzmán Ortiz says she married “El Mayo” Zambada’s son, Vicente Zambada Niebla, on the instructions of her father, but later separated. Her ex-husband is now in a U.S. prison after he was arrested in Mexico in 2009 and subsequently extradited.
Her current partner is the nephew of another Sinaloa Cartel boss, Juan José Esparragoza Moreno, known as “El Azul.”