Speaking to Charlie Rose in an interview for this Sunday’s “60 Minutes,” Sean Penn told the host how he felt that the Mexican government was intentionally placing him in the crosshairs of the notorious Mexican Sinaloa Cartel.
Penn, who wrote an article for Rolling Stone about the Mexican drug war and was able to interview then fugitive Sinaloa drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, told Rose that Mexico was using his interview as a scapegoat in order to pin the blame.
Penn also said that the Mexican government was creating a “myth” in which his visit was pivotal for the capture of El Chapo.
But Penn insists that, in fact, his interview had nothing to do with the drug lord’s capture and that the Mexican government was blaming him as a face saving measure and an attempt to incur the cartel’s wrath against the actor.
“We know that the Mexican government, they were clearly very humiliated by the notion that someone found him before they did,” Penn told Rose.
“Well, nobody found him before they did. We didn’t — we’re not smarter than the DEA or the Mexican intelligence. We had a contact upon which we were able to facilitate an invitation.”
Rose then asked Penn if he thought that Mexico intentionally released information saying that he was “essential” to the capture in order to “see you blamed and put you at risk.”
Penn replied “yes.” Rose then asked if the Mexican government “wanted to encourage the cartel to put you in their crosshairs.” Penn again replied “yes.”
However, the actor said he did not fear for his life.
Penn was able to secure the interview with El Chapo on October 2, 2015 through the facilitation of Mexican actress Kate del Castillo.
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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