Does Sean Penn have any regrets about his meeting with El Chapo? That’s what the actor is suggesting in a brand new interview.
Penn’s interview with El Chapo is believed to have aided in his eventual recapture. The Mexican drug lord was captured again, six months since escaping the prison facility that was said to be the country’s most secure facility.
Sean Penn recently sat down with Charlie Rose for the television program 60 Minutes, during which he opened up about his interview with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, and while Penn has taken criticism for being called a journalist, there’s seemingly no greater critic of the actor than the man himself. During the interview, Penn said that his Rolling Stone article on El Chapo failed.
— Excess Content (@excess_content) January 15, 2016
During his interview with 60 Minutes, Penn revealed that there was a misconception about his meeting with the famed drug lord, who had once famously threatened presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“There is this myth about the visit that we made, my colleagues and I, with El Chapo, that it was—as the Attorney General of Mexico is quoted—’essential’ to his capture. We had met with him many weeks earlier…on October 2, in a place nowhere near where he was captured.”
Penn went on to say that he’s not taking credit for helping El Chapo get captured, and even more so, that he’s not smarter than the Mexican government or the DEA. “Here’s the things that we know: We know that the Mexican government they were clearly very humiliated by the notion that someone found him before they did. Well, nobody found him before they did. We didn’t.”
— Mansura Minhas (@mansuraminhas) January 15, 2016
As for his regrets, the Milk actor said that there is one. Initially, he wanted to speak to El Chapo to engage him in a conversation about the war on drugs, but that backfired in a way. “We’re going to put all our focus—forget about blame—we’re going to put all our focus, all our energy, all our billions of dollars on the ‘bad guy,’ and what happens? You get another death the next day the same way.”
The actor regrets that the interview was overshadowed by the media and basically ignored the primary reason he wanted to meet El Chapo, which was to highlight the discussion about the War on Drugs policy. “Let’s go to the big picture of what we all want. We all want this drug problem to stop. We all want them—the killings in Chicago to stop…And how much time have they spent in the last week since this article come [sic] out, talking about that? One percent? I think that’d be generous.”
In the end, he said his article failed.
When Penn met with El Chapo, he wasn’t alone. Mexican actress Kate del Castillo was at the meeting as well. El Chapo wanted del Castillo to have a hand in his biopic about his life. According to reports, El Chapo’s contact with the actress happened long before he escaped prison.
Prior to the interview, the actress met with the drug lord’s legal team, and during that time they were able to grant her with a special telephone that would let her communicate with El Chapo. After that happened, it was del Castillo, who invited Penn to directly speak with El Chapo.
Watch Sean Penn break his silence about the El Chapo interview below.
Do you agree with Sean Penn’s comments?
[Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images]