See him now? Rolling Stone posted its full 17-minute interview footage with Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman on Tuesday, January 12, in which the Mexican drug lord answers Sean Penn's questions via prerecorded videotape.
The mag first published the text of Penn's exclusive interview with El Chapo this past Saturday, January 9, a day after the kingpin was recaptured by authorities after a shoot-out in a safe house in the residential coastal town of Los Mochis, Sinaloa. The latest update from RS shows exactly how complex the process was to conduct the interview, which used various forms of technology, including a BBM device for Penn and videotapes from El Chapo.
In the initial piece, it was revealed that Penn, 55, and El Chapo, 57, first met in person on October 2, in a rural town located in Durango. Even Penn, who was blindfolded for part of the journey, did not know where he was going to meet Mexico's most wanted man.
"Just months earlier, Sean Penn had traveled in secret through the Mexican jungle to meet with Chapo, then America's most wanted international fugitive," Rolling Stone’s post reads. "Upon meeting Penn, the drug kingpin consented to an interview at a later time. Ultimately, it proved impossible to do the interview in-person, but Penn sent questions by BBM device and Chapo agreed to record his responses on videotape. Without being present, Penn could neither control the questioning, nor prod for elaborations into his responses. Above, you can view the 17-minute video that Chapo sent back in its entirety."
As seen in Rolling Stone's footage, Penn's questions are first translated to the head of the Sinaloa cartel, the largest drug operation in Mexico. El Chapo is seated outdoors in a rural, mountainous region and sports a baseball cap and a colorful printed button-down shirt.
Authorities said Penn's initial meeting with El Chapo, as well as his subsequent communication, were some of the contributing factors leading to the drug lord's arrest. This past Friday, January 8, Mexican marines swooped down on the safe house where El Chapo was hiding, and killed five suspects in the shoot-out.
El Chapo is currently being held at the maximum-security prison in Altiplano, Mexico, as he awaits extradition to the U.S.
Despite some backlash, Oscar winner Penn reiterated on Monday, January 11, that he did no wrong in conducting the interview. "I've got nothin' to hide," Penn wrote in an email to the AP.
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