MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican law enforcement official says a secret interview between drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and actor Sean Penn helped
authorities locate his whereabouts.
Guzman was arrested early Friday after a shootout in his home state of Culiacan that killed five and injured one marine.
Mexico attorney General Arely Gomez says Guzman’s contact with actors and producers for a biopic helped give law enforcement a new lead on tracking and capturing the world’s most notorious drug kingpin.
An official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says it was the Penn interview that led authorities to Guzman in a rural part of Durango State in October. They aborted their raid at the time because he was with two women and a child.
In an article published late Saturday in Rolling Stone, and authored by Penn, the actor describes the complicated measures he took to meet the legendary drug lord. He says he discussed topics ranging from drug trafficking to Middle East Politics with Guzman.
Rolling Stone says the meeting between Guzman and Penn was brokered by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo.
Meanwhile, a Mexican federal official says that the quickest Guzman would be extradited to the United States is six months.
The official, who was not authorized to talk to the press and spoke anonymously, says even that is not likely because lawyers file appeals. He says the appeals are usually turned down, but that each one means a judge has to schedule a hearing.
“That can take weeks or months, and that delays the extradition,” he says. “We’ve had cases that take six years.”
The U.S. has sought Guzman’s extradition and a Mexican law enforcement official says the country is prepared to do it.