But Penn insists that his visit, despite what the Mexican government is claiming, had absolutely nothing to do with the drug lord’s recapture.
“There is this myth about the visit that we made, my colleagues and I with El Chapo, that it was — as the Attorney General of Mexico is quoted — ‘essential’ to his capture,” Penn told Rose. “We had met with him [Guzmán] many weeks earlier…on October 2nd, in a place nowhere near where he was captured.”
“So as far as you know,” Rose asked the actor, “you had nothing to do and your visit had nothing to do with his recapture?”
“Here’s the things that we know: We know that the Mexican government … they were clearly very humiliated by the notion that someone found him before they did. Well, nobody found him before they did. We didn’t — we’re not smarter than the DEA or the Mexican intelligence,” Penn said.
“We had a contact upon which we were able to facilitate an invitation.”
Penn was able to secure the interview with the Sinaloa cartel chief on October 2, 2015 through the facilitation of Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. The actress and Guzmán had been in touch since as early as 2012.
Penn told Rose that he believed that the Mexican government was attempting to blame him for the recapture of the drug lord in order to put him in the crosshairs of the cartels. However, Penn said that he was not afraid.
El Chapo was captured in the Mexican city of Los Mochis on January 8 following a shootout with Mexican marines, US Drug Enforcement Administration agents, and US Marshals.
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