Here's how a Mexican actress connected Sean Penn to druglord El Chapo
Here's what you need to know about Kate del Castillo.
One of the most interesting stories from the last few months was Sean Penn's meeting with Mexican druglord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, one of the most elusive men on the planet.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, El Chapo lifts the lid on how he got involved in the drug business but many people have wondered how a famous Hollywood actor like Penn ended up interviewing the leader of the infamous Sinoloa Cartel.
Mexican actress Kate del Castillo is the person that arranged the meeting and here are a few things that you need to know about her.
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What are her connections to El Chapo?
Back in 2012, the actress first came to El Chapo's attention after she posted a passionate defense of the druglord via her Twitter page. The post read as follows;
"Today I believe more in ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán than in the Governments that hide painful truths: Those who hide the cure for AIDS and cancer for their own benefit and to become richer. Mr. ‘Chapo,’ wouldn’t it be cool that you started trafficking with love? With cures for diseases, with food for the homeless children, with alcohol for the retirement homes that don’t let the elderly spend the rest of the days doing whatever the f..k they want.
Imagine trafficking with corrupt politicians instead of women and children who end up as slaves. Why don’t you burn all those whore houses where women are worth less than a pack of cigarettes? Without offer there’s no demand. COME ON Don! You would be the HEROES of HEROES! Let’s traffic with love. YOU KNOW HOW TO. Life is a business, and the only thing that changes is the merchandise. Don’t you agree?”
News of this post reached its way to El Chapo and according to Penn's interview in Rolling Stone the Mexican druglord felt compelled to send her some flowers. It's believed that this was their first time communicating with each other.
What happened between El Chapo and Kate next?
The two started texting each other and it's reported that the actress was keen to star in a movie that was based on El Chapo's life. "He was interested in seeing the story of his life told on film, but would entrust its telling only to Kate" writes Penn in Rolling Stone.
The pair seemed destined to meet each other though because art imitated life with Kate's 2011 telenovela, La Reina del Sur. What's this about? In the feature, her character is forced to to flee Mexico when her boyfriend, a key player in El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel, is murdered.
When El Chapo was recaptured in 2014, the relationship between the pair was only strengthened as they regularly sent letters to each other.
Have I seen her in anything?
Outside of Spanish language features, she appeared in the 2006 film Bordertown opposite Jennifer Lopez and she also played a corrupt and shady Mexican politician in the fifth season of Showtime’s Weeds.
She also appeared in three episodes of Jane the Virgin but her career is about to get a huge boost after landing a part in Netflix's new series Ingobernable. In the Spanish-language political drama she'll play Irene Urzua, the wife of a fictional Mexican president.
How did Penn and Kate meet?
It's widely believed that del Castillo met Penn through mutual friends where she discussed El Chapo's idea for a film that was based on his life. Penn felt that a movie was too difficult to make but that El Chapo's story would be best suited for a magazine article.
Is she in trouble?
Mexican officials have stated that they're not directly investigating Penn or Del Castillo for meeting with the druglord, but they are looking into the circumstances of this meeting.
El Chapo is now behind bars and authorities have said that Penn and Del Castillo's face-to-face meeting did help them secure his capture.
Del Castillo has not given any public comments since the Rolling Stone interview was published.