Mexican drug lord’s meeting with Sean Penn led to his recapture

Published: Sunday 10th January 2016 by The News Editor

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Recaptured drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman had a secret interview with US actor Sean Penn that helped Mexican law enforcement authorities find him.

The world’s most wanted drug trafficker was arrested early on Friday after a shoot-out in Los Mochis in his home state of Culiacan.

It came six months after he embarrassed the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto by escaping from Mexico’s most-secure prison.

Five people were killed during the operation that led to the recapture of Guzman, who has twice escaped from prison.

Mexico attorney general Arely Gomez had said on Friday that Guzman’s contact with actors and producers for a possible biopic helped give law enforcement a new lead on tracking and capturing the world’s most notorious drug kingpin.

Now a Mexican official has revealed that it was the Penn interview that led the authorities to Guzman in a rural part of Durango state in October.

They aborted their raid at the time because he was with two women and child, but were then able to track him to Los Mochis, Sinaloa, were he was captured.

The interview between Guzman and Penn, purportedly held in late 2015 in a hideout in Mexico, has appeared on the website of Rolling Stone magazine.

In it, the actor describes the complicated security measures he took to meet the drug lord. The men discuss topics ranging from drug trafficking to the Middle East.

When asked about whether he is responsible for the high level of drug addiction in the world, Guzman purportedly responds: “No, that is false, because the day I don’t exist, it’s not going to decrease in any way at all. Drug trafficking? That’s false.”

The magazine says the meeting was brokered by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. Its website has a two-minute video it says is the first exclusive interview with Guzman.

It is in Spanish and in it Guzman sits in front of a chain link face and speaks to a camera. He is wearing a blue shirt and dark baseball cap, but his face is clearly visible. Accompanying the article is a picture of Penn shaking hands with Guzman.

Asked about who is to blame for drug trafficking, Guzman is quoted as saying: “If there was no consumption, there would be no sales. It is true that consumption, day after day, becomes bigger and bigger. So it sells and sells.”

Published: Sunday 10th January 2016 by The News Editor

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