Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known to the world as El Chapo, was captured and arrested for the third time on January 8th following an outrageous prison break last year. But before he wound up back behind bars, he gave a revealing interview to Rolling Stone. Who was the lucky — and brave — journalist to conduct the interview? Sean Penn. Yup, that Sean Penn.
The Oscar-winning actor tracked El Chapo to his Mexican hideout for a meeting coordinated by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. After meeting Penn, he agreed to an interview, though Penn had to send questions and was provided videotaped answers in return.
In the interview, published late Saturday, El Chapo claims that he does not consider himself a violent man. “Look, all I do is defend myself, nothing more,” he told Penn. “But do I start trouble? Never.” This contradicts his previous claims to have directly or indirectly killed thousands of people. It was also rumored that El Chapo put an $100 million bounty on Donald Trump following his controversial statements regarding Mexican immigrants.
The interview took place over seven hours and was held in a jungle clearing atop a mountain at an undisclosed location in Mexico. Penn wrote that he had to go to great lengths to maintain security while arraigning to meet El Chapo saying, “there is no question in my mind that DEA and the Mexican government are tracking our movements.” He also mentioned using burner phones, and being taken in a small plane equipped with a scrambling device.
The magazine also published a two-minute video of El Chapo that was taken during the interview process:
The choice of Sean Penn to conduct the interview may not be as random as it seems. Mexican authorities said Friday that El Chapo’s capture was partly thanks to the fact that he had been planning a movie about his life. He had contacted actors and producers, which helped authorities track him down. .”
Penn also mentioned that El Chapo was familiar with the final days of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Asked about his own last days, El Chapo responded, “I know one day I will die…I hope it’s of natural causes.”
Mexican authorities caught the El Chapo in a bloody raid Friday in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. President Enrique Pena Nieto announced “Mission Accomplished,” via Twitter, “We have him."
Read the full story at RollingStone.com.
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