Kate del Castillo is the Mexican-American actress who arranged the meeting between drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and actor-activist Sean Penn. The day after Rolling Stone published Penn’s article on El Chapo, the then fugitive was arrested. Mexican law enforcement now wants to speak with del Castillo about the meeting, and she says the government wants to destroy her.
Mexican Attorney General Arely Gomez said Kate may have used El Chapo’s money to start her tequila business. Prior to the government’s statement, investigators had indicated they wanted to speak to both Penn and del Castillo. She responded with a tweet.
— kate del castillo (@katedelcastillo) January 13, 2016
More recently, the actress said she cannot talk about the situation, per Reuters.
“I have no reason to give explanations to the press. If I don’t talk its because my lawyers told me not to because the government wants to destroy me.”
The actress’ father said that she would testify at the Mexican consulate in Los Angeles, where she will give proof of her innocence.
Gomez’s office indicated del Castillo will be questioned this week, but didn’t indicate the details of the location. She has dual American and Mexican citizenship.
Del Castillo served as a mediator between El Chapo and Penn, and it was later revealed that El Chapo was infatuated with the actress. She had once played a drug lord in the Mexican telenova, La Reina del Sur, and El Chapo trusted only del Castillo to tell the story of his life via a movie. She allegedly leveraged his trust to negotiate the meeting between him and Penn. There are some who believe a line was crossed, as the meeting took place when El Chapo was at large.
In a 60 Minutes interview with Charlie Rose, Penn indicated that Mexican officials said the meeting between the actor and El Chapo directly led to his arrest. Penn said this wasn’t true, because the meeting with El Chapo occurred on October 2. He was arrested on January 8, and Rolling Stone chose to publish the article on January 9.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) January 16, 2016
The actor said the government wanted to blame him because it was angry that a search had been underway for the drug kingpin for a long time and Penn and del Castillo were able to find him before the DEA and Mexican intelligence could. Sean further indicated that the government wanted to put his life at risk by placing the blame on his shoulders.
What is less clear is the nature of del Castillo’s relationship with El Chapo. There are indications that it was flirtatious due to alleged text messages between them, noted the Latin Post.
“You’re the best in the world. We’re going to be very good friends. You will agree by the time you’re heading home. I wish it could be sooner.”
Kate’s response to the above message was an emotional one: You know who I am, not as an actress or a celebrity, but as a woman, a person.” Other texts refer to “their project” (likely the movie).
It appears that El Chapo was excited about the prospect of meeting Kate and indifferent to the interview with Penn, which was done as a favor to the actress. Also, authorities say that the drug cartel leader, who had escaped previously, was unusually careless about covering his tracks, which led to his arrest.
Mexico probes possible money tie between actress Kate del Castillo and El Chapo https://t.co/e6FvC6OdPdpic.twitter.com/7vLkugBBAe
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) January 20, 2016
Gomez has said that Kate will be presumed innocent prior to making her official statement.
[Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty]