Mexican government sources are now investigating Sean Penn and actress Kate del Castillo, the woman who helped to set up the meeting between the actor and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, according to ThisIs50.
#BREAKING Mexico wants to question Sean Penn over Chapo meeting: federal source
— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 10, 2016
A source told Reuters that authorities want to speak with the two about possible money laundering, although the source didn’t explain further.
Guzman, who has now been captured in large part because of his contact with Penn, was on the run after escaping from Altiplano prison, 50 miles outside of Mexico City, on July 11, 2015.
The drug kingpin avoided detection as he slipped into a tunnel that led up to the shower in his prison cell.
Guzman and Penn met at an undisclosed location in October, because of the Sinaloa Cartel leader’s desire to have “the story of his life told on film.” Follow-up interviews took place over the phone and in video.
“I take no pride in keeping secrets that may be perceived as protecting criminals, nor do I have any gloating arrogance at posing for selfies with unknowing security men. But I’m in my rhythm. Everything I say to everyone must be true. As true as it is compartmentalized. The trust that El Chapo had extended to us was not to be fucked with. This will be the first interview El Chapo had ever granted outside an interrogation room, leaving me no precedent by which to measure the hazards. I’d seen plenty of video and graphic photography of those beheaded, exploded, dismembered or bullet-riddled innocents, activists, courageous journalists and cartel enemies alike. I was highly aware of committed DEA and other law-enforcement officers and soldiers, both Mexican and American, who had lost their lives executing the policies of the War on Drugs. The families decimated, and institutions corrupted.”
“I took some comfort in a unique aspect of El Chapo’s reputation among the heads of drug cartels in Mexico: that, unlike many of his counterparts who engage in gratuitous kidnapping and murder, El Chapo is a businessman first, and only resorts to violence when he deems it advantageous to himself or his business interests. It was on the strength of the Sinaloa cartel’s seemingly more calculated strategies (a cartel whose famous face is El Chapo, but also includes the co-leadership of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada) that Sinaloa had become dominant among Mexico’s criminal syndicates, extending far beyond the rural northwestern state, with significant inroads to all principal border areas between the United States and Mexico – Juarez, Mexicali, Tijuana, and reaching as far as Los Cabos.”
Despite the precautions, Penn says he took to make sure the meetings were kept secret, Mexican authorities were aware of communications between the two and used them to track Guzman down.
Mexican Attorney General Arely Gomez said on Friday:
“Another important aspect that helped locate him was discovering Guzman’s intention to have a biographical film made. He contacted actresses and producers, which was part of one line of investigation.”
Republican presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio expressed his disgust Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” upon learning of Penn’s contact with Guzman.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 10, 2016
“If one of these American actors who have benefited from the greatness of this country, who have made money from our free enterprise system, want to go fawn all over a criminal and a drug trafficker in their interviews, they have a Constitutional right to do it. I find it grotesque.”
This was the second time Guzman had escaped prison. He was first caught in Guatemala in 1993 and extradited to Mexico. He escaped from a high-security prison in Jalisco state in 2001.
— CNN (@CNN) January 9, 2016
Guzman has been taken back to Altiplano prison after being re-arrested following a gunfight with Mexican marines in the Sinaloa city of Los Mochis on Friday, January 8. Five of his associates were killed, six injured and several captured.
Talks of him being extradited to the United States are underway.