Rolling Stone magazine is reporting that Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman met with U.S. actor Sean Penn in his hideout in Mexico months before his recapture Friday by Mexican marines in his home state of Sinaloa.
In an article published late Saturday in the magazine, and authored by Penn, the actor describes the complicated measures he took to meet the legendary drug lord. He discusses topics ranging from drug trafficking to Middle East politics with Guzman.
Asked about who is to blame for drug trafficking, Guzman is quoted as saying: "If there was no consumption, there would be no sales. It is true that consumption, day after day, becomes bigger and bigger. So it sells and sells."
When asked about whether he is responsible for the high level of drug addiction in the world Guzman responds: "No, that is false, because the day I don't exist, it's not going to decrease in any way at all. Drug trafficking? That's false."
The magazine's website has a two-minute video it says is the first ever exclusive interview with Guzman. It is in Spanish and in it Guzman sits in front of a chain link face and speaks to a camera. He is wearing a print blue shirt and dark baseball cap, but his face is clearly visible.
Mexico Attorney General Arely Gomez said Friday that Guzman's contact with actors and producers for a biopic helped gave law enforcement a new lead on tracking and capturing the world's most notorious drug kingpin.
A Mexican law enforcement official, who spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity, said 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 child.