Shortly after the jury received the case on February 4, Matthew Whitaker, the current US Attorney General, entered the courtroom and shook hands with each of the prosecutors, wishing them luck. In the next few days, the jurors, who were looking at the government's evidence, demanded thousands of pages of testimony, including, in an unusual way, the full testimony of six different witnesses.
Mr Guzmán's trial, conducted under intense media scrutiny and strict security by bomber dogs, police snipers and federal marshals with radiation sensors, was the first time the US jury heard details of funding, logistics and the bloody history of drug cartels , who have long pumped huge amounts of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and synthetic drugs like fentanyl in the United States, winning traffickers billions of dollars.
But despite numerous testimonies about private aircraft full of money, bodies burned in fires, and shocking evidence that Mr. Guzman and his people have often drugged and raped young girls, the case revealed the operatic or even absurd nature of cartel culture. There were stories about the traffickers who practiced their target with the Bazooka, Maraichi, who played all night in front of the prison cell, and a murder plot linked to a cyanide-covered zipper.
Sometimes the process was so strange that it felt like a telenovela in the drug world that unfolds live in the courtroom. Last month one of Mr. Guzmán's lovers tearfully announced his love for him, even when she testified against him from the rostrum. The next day, in a sort of coordinated manifestation of solidarity, the queen and his wife, Emma Coronellius, appeared in court, coupled with red velvet jackets.
Towards the end of the procedure, Alejandro Edda, an actor who plays El Chapo on the Netflix series "Narcos: Mexico," appeared in the process to study Mr. Guzman. The crime master smiled enthusiastically when he said that Mr. Edda had come to see him.
Although Monday's conviction had struck Sinaloa's drug cartel, which Mr. Guuzman, 61, helped to run for decades, the group continues to operate, partly led by the sons of the king. In 2016 and 2017, the years in which Mr Guzman was last arrested and sent for prosecution in New York, Mexican heroin production increased by 37% and seizures of fentanyl at the southwestern border more than two times, according to the Drug Administration.
DEA, in its latest assessment of drug trafficking, noted that Mr. Gusman's organization and growing power, the cartel of the new generation of Jalisco, "remain the biggest criminal threat to the United States."