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Watch Sean Penn speak on El Chapo interview, Mexican government retaliation

Sean Penn breaks his silence on controversial "El Chapo" meeting
Sean Penn believes that the Mexican government is trying to get him killed after his controversial Rolling Stone interview with drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The Enrique Peña Nieto-led government has credited Penn with helping re-capture the fugitive last week. But the Oscar-winning actor/activist denies the claim, instead telling talk show host Charlie Rose that the Mexican government is spreading the rumor because Penn was able to locate him before them. As his theory goes, the El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel would retaliate on Penn if the dangerous group thought he blew the drug lord’s cover.

“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,” Penn explained to Rose (via CBS). “We know that the Mexican government … they were clearly very humiliated by the notion that someone found him before they did.”

The Mystic Pizza and Milk star met El Chapo for an extensive interview about the kingpin’s life and business tactics in October. Popular Mexican actress Kate del Castillo facilitated the conversation according to Charlie Rose. Penn’s interview took place far from northern Mexico, where authorities re-captured Guzman on January 8.

Penn told Rose, further, that he was disappointed in his Rolling Stone piece because the discussion around it ignored the issue at hand: the war on drugs. “Let me be clear,” said Penn. “My article has failed.” The piece has received lots of criticism in its aftermath because Sean Penn doesn’t have a background in journalism and Rolling Stone let El Chapo review the story before it was published.

Penn’s full interview with Charlie Rose will air on CBS’ 60 Minutes tomorrow night and Rose’s PBS show on Monday night.

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Chris Leo Palermino
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Chris Leo Palermino is a music, tech, business, and culture journalist based between New York and Boston. He also contributes…
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