Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman made the news once again this past Friday after being captured by Mexican police since being on the run for 6 months. Back in July 2015, he escaped from Altiplano prison near Mexico City in a series of events worthy of an action flick. Guzman used a ventilated tunnel that had been constructed underneath the prison in order to flee. Since being arrested on Friday, not many details were made available to public as to how this came to be.
In a bizarre twist, famed actor Sean Penn apparently held an interview with Guzman back in October 2015 while he was still on the run. The actor conducted the interview for Rolling Stone and in a 7 hour meeting, along with follow up conversations via phone, Penn was able to get a closer glimpse of one of the world’s most notorious fugitives. Sources in the Mexican government say that Penn was able to arrange the meeting with El Chapo via Mexican actress Kate del Castillo.
Upon publishing the piece online, Penn shared:
Some names have had to be changed, locations not named, and an understanding was broken with the subject that this piece would be submitted for the subject’s approval before publication. The subject did not ask for any changes.
When asked about his initial impression of the El Chapo, Penn said:
My mind is an instant flip book to the hundreds of pictures and news reports I had scoured. There is no doubt this is the real deal. He’s wearing a causal patterned silk shirt, pressed black jeans, and he appears remarkably well-groomed and healthy for a man on the run.
When asking El Chapo about his life while on the run, he told the actor:
Well, as for being free, – happy, because freedom is really nice, and pressure, well, for me it’s normal, because i’ve had to be careful for a few years now in certain and, no, I don’t feel anything that hurts my health or my mind. I feel good.
Sean Penn also shared that at some point in his interactions with El Chapo, he was notified that the DEA was aware of his trip to Mexico.
Booking any flight to Mexico now would surely raise red flags. I make a plan to hide myself in the trunk of a friend’s car and be driven to a waiting rental vehicle.
Both Sean Penn and Kate del Castillo are currently under investigation for their role in this interview with Guzman.