Using multiple burner phones, anonymous email addresses, and the help of actress Kate del Castillo, Sean Penn interviewed recently captured Mexican drug lord “El Chapo” (aka Joaquín Guzmán) for Rolling Stone while the head of the Sinaloa Cartel was still hiding from authorities.
Guzmán was on the run after escaping prison a second time. ”There is no question in my mind but that DEA and the Mexican government are tracking our movements,” the actor writes in the article that published Saturday night. Penn detailed their meeting at a secret jungle compound, where Guzmán asked questions about Hollywood, his own notoriety in the United States, bragged about being one of the top suppliers of drugs to Colombia and the US (“ “I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats”), Donald Trump (“I am reminded of press accounts alleging a hundred-million-dollar bounty the man across from me is said to have put on Donald Trump’s life,” writes Penn), and gave details about his prison escape.
It’s not clear if Penn’s interview led to Guzmán’s arrest, but the drug lord was “interested in seeing the story of his life told on film” and had been reaching out to actors and producers (though nothing confirms if one of those people was Penn).
Penn and Del Castillo are currently under investigation.