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Sean Penn's Interview helped lawmen capture 'El Chapo'

Published:Monday | January 11, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Mexican navy marines and other law-enforcement officers inspect a house after the recapture of Mexico’s most wanted drug lord, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman in the city of Los Mochis, Mexico, last Friday. The world’s most wanted drug lord was captured for a third time, as Mexican marines staged heavily armed raids that caught Guzman six months after he escaped from a maximum-security prison.

Actor Sean Penn's interview with drug boss Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman was one factor that led to Mexican security forces capturing the kingpin, a government source told Reuters.

Mexico's government was aware of the October interview with the legendary boss of the Sinaloa drugs cartel and was closely monitoring Penn's movements, a second government source told the news agency.

The interview, in which Penn visited Guzman in his Mexican hideout, was published by Rolling Stone magazine on Saturday evening local time, a day after Guzman's arrest.

In the article, Penn describes the subterfuge he undertook to obtain the interview with Guzman, writing of the cheap phones he was using and

discarding: "One per contact, one per day, destroy, burn, buy, balancing levels of encryption, mirroring through Blackphones, anonymous email addresses, unsent messages accessed in draft form."

Penn also wrote that he was aware the Mexican government and the US Drug Enforcement Administration likely knew of his movements.

In the interview published by Rolling Stone, Guzman told Penn that he started growing marijuana and poppies as a teenager because there was no other employment opportunities that allowed him to make money to buy food.

But he went on to say that, now "I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats."

Guzman added that he did not feel responsible for enabling drug addiction worldwide because, "the day I don't exist, it's not going to decrease in any way at all."

The drugs baron also revealed to the actor that he had sent his tunneling experts to Germany for three months' additional training before they began digging the mile-long tunnel that he used to escape from a maximum-security Mexican prison last July.

The escape was a major embarrassment for the Mexican government, particularly as it was Guzman's second successful prison break.