Authorities Investigating Sean Penn Meeting With Mexican Drug Lord Before Capture
Actor Sean Penn has found himself under the microscope after it was revealed he met with the escaped Mexican drug lord, “El Chappo,” prior to authorities recapturing the fugitive Friday.
On Saturday, Rolling Stone published an interview conducted in October between Penn and “El Chappo,” real name Joaquin Guzman. The interview took place in the “Mexican jungle” after Guzman escaped prison last July and concerned the drug lord’s desire for a biographic film to be made about him, the BBC reported. Unnamed Mexican officials confirmed Penn’s secret meeting helped lead them to Guzman.
On Friday, when Guzman was recaptured, Attorney General Arely Gomez hinted an important aspect of tracking down the fugitive was “discovering Guzman’s intention to have a biographic film made.”
“He contacted actresses and producers, which was part of one line of investigation,” said Gomez.
Mexican actress Kate del Castillo is alleged to have set up the meeting between Guzman and Penn. An image in Rolling Stone of Penn shaking hands with Guzman is dated October 2.
When asked if Penn might face charges for his involvement with the drug lord, U.S. Justice Department spokesman, Peter Carr, said, “We do not have any comment or additional information at this time,” but several reports indicate Penn’s interview is being scrutinized.
The Rolling Stone article details a seven-hour “sit-down” between the actor and drug kingpin discussing a wide range of topics, including drug trafficking.
“If there was no consumption, there would be no sales,” Guzman is quoted in the piece.
Guzman also denied culpability for drug addiction, adding, “The day I don’t exist, [addiction]’s not going to decrease in any way at all.”
U.S. and Mexican authorities are now determining if Guzman will be extradited to America. The drug kingpin has twice escaped maximum security prisons in Mexico and concerns of corruption and a third escape are fueling those discussions.