Sean Penn, an American actor, has recently been in the media for his alleged connections with the capture of the disreputable drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Penn, who conducted an interview with El Chapo, in October has denied any involvement that led to the recent El Chapo capture that occurred at the beginning of the year.
Penn is now in the public eye as this interview with El Chapo and its timeline raised questions. El Chapo was recaptured last week on January. He escaped prison nearly six months ago. It was reported that the drug lord escaped the nation’s most secure prison with ease as he found a tunnel that led to the shower floor of his cell. As a result of his escape plot, Mexican authorities investigated all 18 of his properties in Mexico. Eventually, the final clue that led authorities to the drug lord was a questionable and large order of tacos that was picked up by El Chapo himself in a similar van that was reported to have been driven by his associates. While nearly 2,500 people were involved in El Chapo’s capture, Penn has denied any involvement. Authorities stated that various interviews, police reports, and military video all assisted in recapturing the fugitive.
Penn interviewed the drug lord for seven hours with hopes of gaining information for an article that he intended to write. The purpose of this article was to discuss the War on Drugs and wanted opinions from the man who may arguably be the leader of the most infamous drug cartel in the world. He felt that his article was a failure and those who were aware of the article disregarded its whole purpose. His article was published on Rolling Stone‘s website. Rolling Stone and their publisher, Jann Wenner, actually allowed El Chapo to review the article to ensure that all information was correct. In what was called “story approval,” there was also a small price that was paid on the actor’s behalf for the interview.
The Mexican government is now being accused by Penn, who may be in danger, of putting him in the cartel’s crosshairs. With the public eye pointing fingers that he assisted the authorities in locating El Chapo, he believes that the Mexican government released the information about him because they needed someone else to blame. In response, Penn stated that the Mexican government may have been humiliated that someone less credible found a way to not only locate the drug lord but meet with him face-to-face. Although authorities had been searching for the fugitive for six months, it only took a matter of days for the actor to schedule a meeting with El Chapo. This may be raising questions within the Mexican government as to why this was so easy for the actor to arrange.
The actor-journalist did not approach El Chapo on his own. According to reports, he had the help of Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo. Mexican authorities stated that El Chapo’s meeting with the actor benefitted them and assisted them in being able to track him, despite not having any recorded contact with either actor. Both parties are insisting that Penn did not have any involvement with El Chapo’s capture, which occurred shortly after the interview was conducted. Moreover, these reports may also have encouraged the drug cartel to hold Penn accountable for the capture of their cartel’s leader. While Penn has admitted that he is not fearful for his life, he is still regretting his interview with El Chapo as a whole, as this incident has brought negative attention to his reputation.
By Tricia Manalansan
Edited by Leigh Haugh
CBS News: Sean Penn has “a terrible regret” about “El Chapo” meeting
People: Sean Penn Admits He Doesn’t Know Why ‘El Chapo’ Agreed to an Interview: ‘I Can’t Read His Mind’
The New York Times: How El Chapo Was Finally Captured, Again
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