VH1 cable network is facing backlash after announcing on 13 November that Emma Coronel, wife of jailed Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, will be cast in the second season of “Cartel Crew,” a show that examines how the narcotics ring impacts people who have been in its circle.
Coronel will make her first appearance on “Cartel Crew” in its 18 November episode.
A new teaser trailer shows Michael Corleone Blanco, son of “Cocaine Godmother” Griselda Blanco, and costar Marie Ramirez De Arellano respond to a call from Coronel, who apparently agreed to meet with them for the project.
Coronel puts in an appearance at the end of the footage on a lavish yacht.
Throughout the season Coronel, 30, will discuss how Guzmán, 62, has changed her life, besides opening up on some of her ambitions as a businesswoman.
Marie Ramirez Arellano, the daughter of an unidentified Miami-based ex-drug trafficker, was noticeably awed to be in the presence of El Chapo’s wife.
“I was very nervous and humbled to be in her presence. She’s not a regular woman. She’s a real Latina, a humble person, loyal to her man. She gave off such great energy and she’s a real classy woman.”
Many have branded the decision to have Emma Coronel Aispuro on the controversial series as “sick”, with sceptics accusing the program of “glamourizing” the deadly cartels and their most infamous kingpin.
Critics have also pointed out Coronel’s reputation for being allegedly complicit in her husband’s crimes.
Ioan Grillo, a Mexico-based journalist, tweeted:
“This is a sick and terrible decision by VH1 to have El Chapo’s wife, Emma Coronel, on its reality show ‘Cartel Crew.
“There is a humanitarian catastrophe in Mexico from cartel violence. This is not a glamorous reality show."
This is a sick and terrible decision by VH1 to have El Chapo's wife Emma Coronel on its reality show "Cartel Crew." There is a humanitarian catastrophe in Mexico from cartel violence. This is not a glamorous reality show.— Ioan Grillo (@ioangrillo) November 12, 2019
Where are images of mass graves?https://t.co/MaLGUquIIM
Other social media fans commented on the “terrible mistake of glorifying the cartels” and attributed the controversial move to a twisted demand for crime-based content:
Too many people is living with fear and terrified by the cartels violence; is a terrible mistake glorify these people , totally agree with you— Gabriel Malpica (@gabriel_malpica) November 13, 2019
Unbelievable. They are making it look glamorous. Hopefully they will intercut it with images and video of decapitations and uncovering mass graves to give it some actual reality in their reality show.— Raymond (@raubrey) November 12, 2019
Shows you the true character of all media.— Lakers 10-2 (@EVazPHX07) November 12, 2019
A sick and terrible society we’ve become...— Adriana Hernandez (@bubu191) November 12, 2019
Completely agree with you,she is making millions from criminal enterprise and VH1 are glamorising it.— lee lofthouse (@leelofthouse) November 13, 2019
I wonder how the families of cartel victims feel about this glorification of their criminal enterprise. I’m sad that this is what America demands as entertainment. We’re the romans, cheering for the lions. “ Are you not entertained?”— Geek Freak (@GeekFreakBoutiq) November 13, 2019
However, Michael Corleone Blanco defended his and others’ role on the show, and was quoted by The Los Angeles Times as saying:
“We are not our parents. We’re trying to make our own way in the world. Legally. She (Coronel) is a really sweet person who is going through something that no other wife or mother should ever go through and now she has to raise two girls by herself.”
End of "El Chapo" reign
After years of arrests and escapes, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was captured in 2016 and extradited to the United States in 2017.
In July 2019 a US court sentenced him to life in prison on a range of charges, including drug trafficking and money laundering, placing him in a US maximum security prison in Colorado.
The Sinaloa cartel leader had gained international notoriety by repeatedly evading police capture during several prison breaks that spanned more than 10 years and involved secret tunnels and mountain hideouts.
His wife Coronel has been by his side and was even accused of aiding him in his breakout plots.