Sean Penn defends ‘El Chapo’ meeting

Actor Sean Penn rejects criticisms over his visit to Mexican drug lord

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Hollywood actor Sean Penn

Actor Sean Penn stood behind his clandestine visit to Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman which helped the Mexican intelligence to hunt him down.  

The images of the October’s meeting with Guzman released on Monday showing the actor with Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo who arranged the secret visit with the drug lord.  

Following the spread of the images on media, Penn said "I've got nothing to hide.”

The actor also turned a deaf ear to a suggestion that he was "taking hits" for agreeing to submit his article to Rolling Stone magazine.

In a brief e-mail Penn said  "no, you're reading hits."

The interview was published by Rolling Stones just a day after Guzman’s capture.

Guzman had escaped prison via a mile long tunnel in July 2015. He was recaptured on Friday after a shootout in the city of Los Mochis in northern Sinaloa, Mexico.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto released a new year message to the nation on Monday, referring to the capture of Guzman.

"The detention of the world's most wanted criminal is a credit to the coordination of our institutions in favor of security and the rule of law," Nieto said.

"With this action, 98 of the 122 most dangerous criminals no longer present a threat to society and we are going for all of them."

Mexican officials said that the secret meeting helped them to track down the fugitive and also they raided his hideout in rural Durango state a few days after it.

In the article Penn said "I see no spying eyes, but I assume they are there" when he flew to Mexico for the meeting.

The Mexican newspaper El Universal realised 10 photos on Monday which is shown Penn being monitored as he arrived in Mexico.

In the images, Penn appeared as wearing dark glasses and a baseball cap as he arrived at an airport, then at a hotel and greeting the men who took him from there to fly to the jungle camp to meet with Guzman.

According to the newspaper, the photos were obtained from Mexican government intelligence.

Sean Penn has been known with his trips to the region. He had visited before leftist leaders, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales in Bolivia. He had a meeting with President Raul Castro in 2008 just after Barack Obama was elected US president.

TRTWorld and agencies