Mexico wants answers. After celebrating the capture of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who was formerly at-large, news broke that actor Sean Penn had extensively interviewed and communicated with the drug kingpin. Now, the government wants to question the actor and filmmaker about the meetings, a federal source told AFP.
Rolling Stone had published an extensive, perhaps unedited, interview with El Chapo conducted by Penn and fellow actor Kate del Castillo Friday. The article, published Saturday evening, even includes a video of El Chapo and has English captions. "I want to make clear that this interview is for the exclusive use of Miss Kate del Castillo and Mister Sean Penn," the drug load says.
The logistics of the interview and the fact that Penn had communicated with El Chapo, who had escaped from Mexican prisons and evaded authorities, caused controversy throughout the week. The two had met to discuss Penn potentially making a documentary about El Chapo.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was one of many critics. “If one of these American actors who have benefited from the greatness of this country, who have made money from our free enterprise system, want to go fawn all over a criminal and a drug trafficker in their interviews, they have a constitutional right to do it,” he told ABC's "This Week" Sunday. "I find it grotesque."
It is thought that the Mexican government was able to use the interview in order to find the kingpin. El Chapo was captured Friday, and Penn's interview was published Saturday evening. However, Penn had met El Chapo months before he was found — for a seven-hour interview — and had followed up via burner phones.
However, some say that the fact that both Penn and Rolling Stone profited over the matter is unjust. Journalists have also criticized Rolling Stone's ethics and standards for allowing El Chapo to see a version of the article before it was published.
So ROLLING STONE, months after the UVA rape story, provides an outlet for/editorial approval to a mass murderer? Hm. https://t.co/i8UolmDrw4
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) January 10, 2016
Authorities have declined to comment on whether or not Penn or his interview played a role in El Chapo's capture.