Since the recapture of Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, many lurid details have emerged about his relationship with his apparent paramour, Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, revealing not only the flirtation between them, but also shedding light on just how she helped arrange a meeting between the drug lord and actor Sean Penn.
But the section below, excerpted from a transcript of messages published by Mexican newspaper Milenio this week, reveal just how banal some of their conversations were. One series of text messages even revolves around Guzmán asking del Castillo which cell phone she preferred, the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, or the BlackBerry Leap.
As their conversation on September 25th of last year dragged into the morning of September 26th, Guzmán asked del Castillo for more information about Penn’s work. When del Castillo started to look for information about the American actor on her Blackberry, their conversation turned to mobile phones. Here’s the exchange, translated.
12:08:46 a.m. — del Castillo: I’m checking it, pardon me please, I’m doing it with my Blackberry data.
12:10:27 a.m. — Guzmán: Or iPhone or tablet, iPhone is a new tablet telephone.
12:18:47 a.m. — del Castillo: Blackberry Leap is the most recent, and it is the size of a minilap [mini laptop]. Its system is the most sophisticated in the area of business. Its battery guarantees 25 hours in duration. The iPhone 6 Plus is better and the most recent.
12:21:12 a.m. — del Castillo: The Samsung 6 Edge is the most sophisticated of all the telephone platforms. Its system is Android and it has the most recent technology.
12:21:28 a.m. — del Castillo: I don’t know the price of the Black [Blackberry].
12:22:44 a.m. — del Castillo: [The cost] of the iPhone 6 is $14 to 16 thousand, depending on its capacity. [$768 to $877]
12:23:23 a.m. — del Castillo: The Samsung 5 Edge costs about $16 thousand [$877].
12:23:28 a.m. — Guzmán: And the Galaxy?
12:24:19 a.m. — Guzmán: Which would be the one that looks the prettiest?
12:24:29 a.m. — Guzmán: For you
12:26:46 a.m. — del Castillo: The Galaxy already was, in its moment it was one of the best. In my humble opinion, the Samsung 6 Edge [likely referring to appearance]
12:28:13 a.m. — del Castillo: But you have to [ask] I say that the best [is] the Blackberry Leap. But it’s up to you.
12:28:57 a.m. — Guzmán: The Black, how much does it cost?
12:32:18 a.m. — del Castillo: … And I don’t have info for the price of the Blackberry. But tomorrow, Telcel will quote us a price for it.
12:37:07 a.m. — Guzmán: Rest, and at 9 send me the price, please …
The above dialogue seems so everyday that it’s easy to forget it was part of a longer, more furtive exchange between a powerful drug lord linked to thousands of deaths and a well-known actress who Guzmán was interested in romantically.
Guzmán’s communications with del Castillo (and the meeting with Penn she helped arrange) reportedly helped authorities zero in on him and recapture the Sinaloa cartel chief on January 8.