Is an El Chapo movie in the works with Sean Penn? The possibility that the Mexican drug lord met with the controversial Oscar winner to discuss a movie deal is among the questions that FBI investigators want to ask Penn. Joaquin Guzman, better known as El Chapo, reportedly met the actor at a secret location in a remote jungle area of Mexico last year.
The El Chapo Sean Penn meeting was detailed in a report written by the actor and published by Rolling Stone on Saturday. After a handshake between the Mexican drug lord and the actor, Penn conducted a video interview with the two-time prison escapee. The United States wants to extradite the Sinaloa drug cartel leader but does not expect the recently recaptured Guzman to actually change hands and arrive in America until summer. The delays in extradition could likely offer El Chapo the opportunity to once again free himself from a prison cell.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 11, 2016
The 11,000-word El Chapo interview article by Sean Penn included a question-and-answer session about Guzman’s drug-running business at the Sinaloa cartel, USA Today reports.
Here’s an excerpt from the Sean Penn interview with the Mexican drug lord:
“I take no pride in keeping secrets that may be perceived as protecting criminals, nor do I have any gloating arrogance at posing for selfies with unknowing security men. But… this will be the first interview El Chapo had ever granted outside an interrogation room, leaving me no precedent by which to measure the hazards.”
— CNN (@CNN) January 11, 2016
According to Penn, El Chapo agreed to the secret meeting only because he wanted a Hollywood big wig to make a movie about his drug-dealing career. Law enforcement officials in both the United States and Mexico believe that Guzman’s dealings included multiple incidents of torture, mass murder, and power grabs within his native country.
Details regarding how Sean Penn connected with El Chapo remain a bit murky. Kate del Castillo, a soap opera star on Mexican television, reportedly contacted Penn and made the introductions necessary to set up the secret jungle meeting. Although Penn was invited as a guest to Guzman’s hideout, a small army of the drug lord’s guards kept a close eye on the actor and were not shy about brandishing their weapons during his visit.
Although being singled out for a visit and interview with El Chapo might be a boon to Penn’s career, statements by the Mexican Attorney General may have placed the actor in physical jeopardy. A day before the Rolling Stone article was published, Arley Gomez, the Mexican Attorney General, said that Penn’s El Chapo interview gave police investigators a new lead on Guzman’s whereabouts and helped lead to the capture of the drug lord.
The armed-to-the-teeth guards that surrounded Sean Penn and El Chapo could take the attorney general’s statements to mean that the actor may have leaked details about the location of their boss either on purpose on inadvertently. Whether or not Penn could be in legal trouble for meeting with the Mexican drug lord remains to be seen. Some legal scholars speaking to news pundits over the weekend maintain that if the actor did not harbor or give aid to the criminal, then he broke no laws.
What do you think about the El Chapo movie possibility and the jungle interview with the drug lord by Sean Penn?
[Photo by Rebecca Blackwell/AP]