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Penn Calls 'El Chapo' Interview A Failure; Believes He Might Be Cartel Target

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – In a CBS interview to air Sunday on "60 Minutes," actor Sean Penn says his controversial visit with fugitive Mexico drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was a failure because it did not spark a national discussion on the federal drug policies.

Penn sat down with CBS' Charlie Rose on Thursday night to talk about the clandestine meeting with Guzman, who was captured by Mexican authorities last week.

The veteran actor says he believes the interview, the article in Rolling Stone magazine and Guzman's capture has made him a target of the drug lord's cartel.

A segment of the interview was aired on "CBS This Morning" on Friday with the complete interview set to air at 7-8 p.m. Sunday on "60 Minutes."

"There is this myth about the visit that we made, my colleagues and I with El Chapo, that it was -- as the Attorney General of Mexico is quoted -- essential to his capture. We had met with him many weeks earlier," Penn told Rose.

The actor added that the Oct. 2nd interview took place "nowhere near where he was captured."

Penn said he thought that Mexican government has purposively made him a target for retribution.

Rose: "Do you believe that the Mexican government released this in part because they wanted to see you blamed and to put you at risk?"

Penn: "Yes."

Rose: "They wanted to encourage the cartel to put you in their crosshairs?"

Penn: "Yes."

Rose: "Are you fearful for your life?"

Penn: "No."

The actor said the only motive for the interview -- which was set up by Mexican-American actress Kate del Castillo -- was to trigger a debate on U.S. drug policy.

"This is somebody -- who -- upon whose interview could I begin a conversation about the policy of the war on drugs," he said. "That was my -- simple idea."

In hindsight, Penn said that he regrets that decision.

Rose: "You have said to the AP, and I'm asking now, you have no regrets?"

Penn: "Yeah, I -- I -- I do -- I have a terrible regret."

Rose: "What are the regrets?"

Penn: "I have a regret that the entire discussion about this article -- ignores its purpose, which was to con-- try to contribute to this discussion about the -- policy in the war -- War on Drugs."

Without the debate, Penn said the Rolling Stone article was a failure.

Penn: "My article failed."

Rose: "--as a result of El Chapo."

Penn: "Let me be clear. My article has failed."


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