This photo combination shows three former associates of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman who are now cooperating with the United States Attorney's Office in Guzman's prosecution. From left are Tirso Matinez Sanchez, Pedro Flores and Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa. (U.S. Attorney's Office, Matinez Sanchez; U.S. Marshals Service, Flores; Ariana Cubillos, Cifuentes Villa)

Colorful cast of cooperators put the heat on El Chapo

December 22, 2018 - 7:59 am

NEW YORK (AP) — A gambling addict who changed his appearance with plastic surgery, a trafficker who says he got his start in crime at age 4, and a Chicago drug-runner have been the latest witnesses at the U.S. trial of the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo.

The three cooperators have offered colorful insight into the personality of Joaquin Guzman and how he ran his Sinaloa cartel with an iron fist.

All made a fortune off of working with Guzman during the cocaine boom in the 1990s and 2000s. But they also said they knew any missteps could cost them their lives.

The defense says the cooperators are railroading Guzman to win leniency in their own cases.

The trial is on a holiday break until the first week of January.

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