Sean Penn says he has 'nothin' to hide' after 'El Chapo' interview

MEXICO CITY -- Actor Sean Penn said Monday he has "nothin' to hide" about his clandestine visit to Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, dismissing criticism over his interview with the fugitive who was captured two days ago.

See Full Article

In a brief email exchange with The Associated Press, Penn was asked about images published by local news media that indicate Mexican authorities were closely monitoring him and actress Kate del Castillo ahead of their October visit with Guzman.

"I've got nothin' to hide," he wrote.

Penn shrugged off a suggestion that he was "taking hits" for agreeing to submit the story to Guzman prior to publication of the story by Rolling Stone magazine.

"No, you're reading hits," he said.

There are quite a few envious journalists, the AP reporter commented. "True dat," Penn replied.

Guzman was captured Friday, more than three months after meeting Penn on Oct. 2 meeting and six months after escaping from prison.

Penn did not respond directly to questions on whether it was appropriate for him to submit his story to Guzman for approval in advance of publication, though he said in the article that Guzman requested no changes.

Mexican officials have said that Guzman's contacts with Penn and del Castillo helped them track down the fugitive and they raided his hideout a few days after they met. Guzman evaded authorities then, but was finally captured Friday in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa.

A Mexican federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to comment on the issue, told the Associated Press the Penn interview led authorities to Guzman in the area of Tamazula, a rural part of Durango state.

Penn wrote in the article of elaborate security precautions, including switching phones. But as he flew to Mexico for the meeting, he wrote "I see no spying eyes, but I assume they are there."

He may not have known how close those eyes were. They were apparently already following del Castillo based on contacts with Guzman lawyers.

The Mexican newspaper El Universal published 10 photographs Monday that appeared to show Penn being monitored as he arrived in Mexico.

The photographs that appear to show Penn and del Castillo arriving at an airport, then at a hotel, and greeting the men who apparently took them to a small airstrip, from which they flew to the jungle camp to meet Guzman.

The newspaper said the photos are part of a Mexican government intelligence file that it obtained. It is not clear which may have been frame grabs from surveillance videos,

The account says agents were aware of and following del Castillo's contacts with Guzman's lawyers since at least June. Del Castillo has not commented.

Mexico has begun the process of extraditing Guzman to the United States, but that process will probably take "one year or longer," the head of Mexico's extradition office, Manuel Merino, told Radio Formula on Monday. He said the process had lasted as long as six years, in one case because of legal challenges.

In the meantime, Guzman was being held at the same prison from which he escaped through a tunnel in July. But a Mexican security official said he is being held in a different cell. The official was not authorized to be quoted by name.

Both his original cell and the mile-long tunnel he had built have been "made unusable," the official said, without specifying how.

The prison is now ringed by soldiers, marines and federal police. Some of the soldiers are riding in armoured personnel carriers.

Guzman's powerful Sinaloa cartel smuggles multi-ton shipments of cocaine and marijuana as well as manufacturing and transporting methamphetamines and heroin, mostly to the U.S. He is wanted in various U.S. states and his July escape deeply embarrassed the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto and strained ties between the countries.

Guzman's attorney Juan Pablo Badillo has said the defence has already filed six motions to challenge extradition requests.

Badillo said that his client shouldn't be extradited to the U.S. because "our country must respect national sovereignty, the sovereignty of its institutions to impart justice."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Police: Pregnant woman overdoses, charged with baby assault

    World News CTV News
    EAST BUTLER, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania woman who overdosed on heroin while pregnant and had to undergo a cesarean section is being charged with assault on her unborn child, authorities said. Kasey Dischman, 30, was roughly seven months pregnant when she injected herself with heroin she found under a couch early last Friday in her home in East Butler, about 64 kilometres north of Pittsburgh, a criminal complaint obtained by KDKA-TV shows. Source
  • Australian police charge Vatican cardinal with sex offences

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY, Australia -- Australian police charged a top Vatican cardinal on Thursday with multiple counts of historical sexual assault offences, a stunning decision certain to rock the highest levels of the Holy See. Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' chief financial adviser and Australia's most senior Catholic, is the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the church's long-running sexual abuse scandal. Source
  • RRRoll Up the Rim in the summer? Yes, it's happening now

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    It’s time to double down on Canada 150 celebrations with a double-double. Tim Hortons has announced a special edition of RRRoll Up the Rim to Win that begins on June 28 and continues through July 21, 2017. Source
  • Uber customers to start paying federal sales taxes July 1

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A ride in an Uber taxi will be a little more expensive as of Canada Day with federal tax added to the app’s taxi fares. The 2017 federal budget requires that HST and GST — which amounts to 13 per cent for Ontarians — be charged on every ridesharing trip in Canada as of July 1. Source
  • Canada reveals its team for the upcoming Invictus Games

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The strength of Canada’s team at the upcoming Invictus Games in Toronto lies in the bond between the veterans and armed forces members who form the group, the team’s co-captain said Thursday as organizers marked the 100-day countdown to the international sporting competition. Source
  • Clark says if her government toppled, it shows B.C. legislature can't function

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- Premier Christy Clark says she doesn't think the British Columbia legislature can work if her Liberal government is defeated in a confidence vote on Thursday. If Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon asks for her opinion, Clark says she will tell her she hasn't seen any evidence the house can function with the NDP and Greens holding a one-vote advantage in the 87-seat legislature. Source
  • Police pilot accused of helicopter attack in Venezuelan capital

    World News CBC News
    Oscar Perez is a cop, pilot, action movie star and dog trainer. He's now also a fugitive, accused of strafing two key Venezuelan government buildings from a helicopter in a quixotic attempt to set off a revolt against President Nicolas Maduro. Source
  • Saretzky guilty on all charges

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    LETHBRIDGE — It took jurors three hours Wednesday to convict Derek Saretzky of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of a little girl, her dad and an unrelated senior. The six-man, six-woman Court of Queen’s Bench jury found Saretzky planned and deliberated the Sept. Source
  • Kittens rescued from abuse in Prince Albert, Sask., die

    Canada News CBC News
    Five kittens rescued from abuse and attempts to light them on fire last month in Prince Albert, Sask., have died. "It's a very sad ending," said Liana Maloney, manager of the Prince Albert Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Source
  • Bono, the Edge donating time for Canada Day concert, government says

    Canada News CBC News
    U2 members Bono and the Edge are donating their time as a "birthday present to Canada" and will not be paid a performance fee for appearing at Canada 150 celebrations on Parliament Hill July 1, a spokesperson from Canadian Heritage says. Source