The recapture of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman took a Hollywood twist when a Mexican official said security forces at one point located the world’s most-wanted trafficker thanks to a secret interview with actor Sean Penn, the Associated Press reports. Penn’s interview with Guzman, who has twice escaped from Mexican maximum security prisons, appeared on the website of Rolling Stone magazine. It was held at an undisclosed hideout in northern Mexico in October, about two months before Guzman’s recapture Friday in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, after six months on the run. In the interview, Guzman defends his work at the head of the world’s biggest drug trafficking organization, one blamed for thousands of killings.
A Mexican federal law enforcement official said it was the Penn interview that led authorities to Guzman in a rural part of Durango state in October. Authorities decided not to open fire on Guzman as he ran away because he was with two women and child. In the Rolling Stone article, Penn wrote that Guzman was interested in having a movie filmed on his life. He said Guzman wanted Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, who facilitated the meeting between the men, involved in the project. Mexico said it was willing to extradite Guzman to the United States, a sharp reversal from the official position after his last capture in 2014. The extradition process can take years because of the possibility of various hearings and appeals.