The Sinaloa Cartel kingpin, Joaquin ”El Chapo” Guzmán, has been captured by the law enforcement authorities after months of hiding, following his unbelievable escape that happened 6 months ago. Before the drug lord’s capture, movie star Sean Penn was making an interview with El Chapo at his hiding place in the mountains. According to a Mexican official, the actor’s encounter with the kingpin was a big help for law enforcement authorities.
El Chapo’s first encounter with the media was in October when Penn interviewed him. The drug lord was taken into custody on January 8 by Mexican authorities after a bloody shootout in the coastal town of Los Mochis, which resides in the northern part of Sinaloa.
“I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats,” Chapo reportedly boasted to Penn during their 7-hour meeting that began on the night of October 2 and lasted until 4 am. According to the interviewing actor, who published a feature story about Guzmán with Rolling Stone on January 9, the interview was arranged with the help of the Mexican actress Kate del Castillo.
Chapo had developed a good messaging relationship with Del Castillo after she published a letter via Twitter in 2012 saying she had more trust in the Sinaloa Cartel kingpin than in governments, and urged him to start the act of “trafficking with love.” She also went with Penn to the mysterious meeting at an undisclosed location in the Golden Triangle of the Sierra Madre mountains. That region of northwest Mexico is considered as a stronghold of El Chapo’s cartel. Penn had written that the drug lord treated Del Castillo “like a daughter returning from college” after they arrived at the location.
Rolling Stone introduced the whole Penn – Chapo story by stating that it was “submitted for the subject’s approval before publication”. The actor described the whole encounter as ”chatting with Guzmán, gaining his trust and organizing a more formal two-day sit-down interview” that was supposed to take place eight days later. The arranged meeting between the interviewer and El Chapo never happened.
The day after the actor left Chapo’s hideout, a major navy-led army operation began in the Golden Triangle. Later, the law enforcement authorities stated that they had nearly caught the Sinaloa Cartel drug lord in the operation. Penn had written that the probable cause for the tracking down of El Chapo was a cellphone used by one of the members in Chapo’s crew.
The drug kingpin later sent a message via BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) to Del Castillo explaining what happened:
“On October 6th, there was an operation…two helicopters and 6 BlackHawks began a confrontation upon their arrival. The marines dispersed throughout the farms. The families had to escape and abandon their homes with the fear of being killed. We still don’t know how many dead in total.”