Trial underway for Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman

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But on the first day of his trial in New York, Guzman's lawyer claimed the real ringleader was a man named Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon said on Twitter those allegations are "absolutely false and reckless".

President Enrique Pena Nieto's spokesman denied the accusation, saying: "That is false".

Last week, Judge Brian Cogan rejected a request from Guzman to greet and embrace his beauty queen wife Emma Coronel on Tuesday, shortly before opening statements, ruling that it was too risky.

El Chapo is standing trial for smuggling drugs to the USA and his role in narco-violence between rival gangs that has torn areas of Mexico apart and defied successive governments.

In addition to Lichtman, Eduardo Balarezo and William Purpura will also represent Guzman at the trial. Lichtman did not finish his statement and is expected to resume Wednesday.

In 2001, Guzman famously escaped from prison, purportedly in a laundry cart with the assistance of prison officials whom he had corrupted.

Opening statements have begun in the New York City trial of a Mexican drug lord known as "El Chapo".

But his lawyers say that is unfair, with El Chapo promising in January not to kill any jurors involved in this case.

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The notorious Mexican drug lord known as "El Chapo" is being tried in New York City amid intense security measures.

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, surrounded by US Marshals, waves to his wife as he enters the courtroom at Brooklyn Federal Court, as his high-security trial got underway in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018.

One juror has already been excused, believed to be suffering from anxiety. The reason was unclear. Instead of replacing her with one of the six alternates, lawyers on both sides agreed to select a fresh juror, which they did Tuesday morning. It's not known how long that will take.

Known as "El Chapo", Guzman allegedly earned almost $14-billion moving cocaine to Mexico and into the U.S.

Heavily armed police officers were yesterday patrolling outside the building in Brooklyn. Her husband, 63, has been in solitary confinement and barred from seeing her to stop him passing messages to cohorts since his extradition to the United States a year ago.

He said the prosecution was going to be calling "so called" cooperating witnesses- "people who will make your skin crawl when they testify". Guzman pleaded not guilty to charges that he amassed a multi-billion-dollar fortune smuggling tons of cocaine and other drugs in a vast supply chain that reached New York, New Jersey, Texas and elsewhere north of the border.

The examination of the legendary kingpin's life will tell an epic tale.

Emma Coronel, the wife of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, arrives for his trial in Brooklyn federal court, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, in NY. Prosecutors say they risk retribution by taking the stand and the court has taken some steps to hide their identities. There also will be evidence about multiple murders committed in drug wars in Mexico, about cocaine smuggled in jalapenos cans and Guzman's brazen escapes from jail.

Prosecutors have said they will use thousands of documents, videos and recordings as evidence, including material related to the Guadalajara airport shooting, drug smugglers' safe houses, Guzman's 2015 prison escape and the law enforcement operation to recapture him.

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