Actor Sean Penn interviewed Mexican drug lord El Chapo for Rolling Stone magazine shortly before the wanted man’s recent recapture, it has been revealed.
Sinaloa cartel boss El Chapo – real name Joaquin Guzman – was arrested on Friday (October 8) after being on the run since breaking out of jail in July last year.
“I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats,” he told Penn in the exclusive interview. “Look, all I do is defend myself, nothing more. But do I start trouble? Never.”
El Chapo added: “If there was no consumption, there would be no sales. It is true that consumption, day after day, becomes bigger and bigger. So it sells and sells.”
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) January 10, 2016
Penn explained his desire to interview El Chapo by saying that he wanted to explore issues that “may be inconsistent with the portrayals our government and media brand upon their declared enemies”.
“Not since Osama bin Laden has the pursuit of a fugitive so occupied the public imagination,” Penn wrote. “But unlike bin Laden, who had posed the ludicrous premise that a country’s entire population is defined by – and therefore complicit in – its leadership’s policies, with the world’s most wanted drug lord, are we, the American public, not indeed complicit in what we demonise.”
Penn added: “We are the consumers, and as such, we are complicit in every murder, and in every corruption of an institution’s ability to protect the quality of life for citizens of Mexico and the United States that comes as a result of our insatiable appetite for illicit narcotics.”
Some reports claim that it was Penn’s interview that helped authorities track the criminal.
El Chapo’s escape was the second time he managed to do so from a maximum security prison in Mexico. It is thought that he could now face extradition to the US.