Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was recaptured within Mexico’s Sinaloa state early on Friday, six months after he escaped from the country’s most secure prison facility.
The mission, which began at 4:00 in the morning, claimed the lives of six of Guzman’s people after a shootout. The drug kingpin initially escaped via a secret tunnel that leads to the city’s storm drains.
The Mexican marines who led the arrest found the passage about 90 minutes later, and tracked the whereabouts of El Chapo from there.
Watch the Violent Raid that Resulted in the Recapture of El Chapo
The Sinaloa Cartel boss was sent back to the Altiplano jail, the maximum-security prison from where he escaped back in July 2015.
On Monday, Mexican Attorney General Arely Gomez Gonzalez said in a radio interview that Guzman’s meeting and interview with Hollywood actor Sean Penn helped in his arrest.
— CNN (@CNN) January 12, 2016
The Oscar-winning actor reportedly met with El Chapo along Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains in October, and the two agreed to schedule an interview later that month.
Mexican actress Kate del Castillo was also present in the meeting. The drug kingpin reportedly wanted del Castillo to handle the making of a biopic about his life. Even before he escaped from prison, El Chapo had already asked for advice from the actress.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) January 10, 2016
Del Castillo had also met with the drug cartel boss’s legal team several weeks earlier, at which point they gave her a “special” telephone for communication. Afterwards, she brought Penn in to meet directly with El Chapo.
Based on Mexican intelligence reports, Penn and Del Castillo were met with a group of men and were taken to an airstrip in Nayarit state, where they flew in a small plane to Guzman’s camp in the municipality of Cosala.
Although El Chapo and Penn were able to come up with a scheduled interview, the actor was not able to arrive personally and so he recorded his questions via a BBM device. Meanwhile, Guzman agreed to record his responses on videotape.
Rolling Stone magazine then published an article and posted the 17-minute video of Guzman’s responses. The publication emphasized that Penn had no control over the questioning, neither was he able to ask Guzman for elaborations on his answers.
Watch a Portion of the Rolling Stone Interview Between Sean Penn and El Chapo
El Chapo answered some questions related to his family and his humble beginnings in their small town. He often emphasized that there were no job opportunities in their place called “La Tuna”, aside from growing and selling marijuana.
He then started growing, harvesting, and selling marijuana, after which he progressed to synthetic drugs.
In addition, Guzman prided himself in building his drug empire.
“I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats,” according to El Chapo.
Meanwhile, Mexican authorities said that they had information about the drug lord’s whereabouts because his people used their cell phones in contacting filmmakers and actors.
Shortly after the recorded interview, Mexican authorities said they almost caught Guzman, although he escaped, but not without injuries to his face and leg.
Now that Guzman has been returned to the country’s maximum-security prison, Interpol is moving to extradite him to the United States, where he faces multiple drug-related charges.
On the other hand, it is still unknown whether Penn and Del Castillo will be charged because they had information about El Chapo’s location, yet decided to withhold it from proper authorities.
Mexico wants to question actors Sean Penn and Kate del Castillo about his interview with “El Chapo,” official says. https://t.co/RbwWC45HwH
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) January 10, 2016
However, a legal analyst for CNN said that the two did not appear to break any laws.
“You can argue it’s morally reprehensible. But when you look at it from Sean Penn’s perspective, he simply had a talk with a fugitive,” legal analyst Joey Jackson said.
Jackson further stated that may only be held liable if they aided or assisted El Chapo in carrying out criminal actions.
[Image via YouTube]