Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera aka El Chapo was the most wanted man in the world, until he was captured by Mexican police, and their Navy, on Friday January 8th during a gun battle in Sinaloa.
Once caught, Rolling Stone released a secret interview actor Sean Penn had with Loera in the jungles of Mexico. The meeting was set up by Mexican actress, Kate del Castillo, which ultimately led to his capture. Officials in Mexico say they had no clue Penn was there, but did have information on El Chapo contacting del Castillo and were following her moves.
Some of the most interesting questions Sean Penn asked El Chapo:
How was your childhood?
I remember from the time I was six until now, my parents, a very humble family, very poor, I remember how my mom made bread to support the family. I would sell it, I sold oranges, I sold soft drinks, I sold candy. My mom, she was a hard worker, she worked a lot. We grew corn, beans. I took care of my grandmother’s cattle and chopped wood.
And how did you get involved in the drug business?
Well, from the time I was 15 and after, where I come from, which is the municipality of Badiraguato, I was raised in a ranch named La Tuna, in that area, and up until today, there are no job opportunities. The only way to have money to buy food, to survive, is to grow poppy, marijuana, and at that age, I began to grow it, to cultivate it and to sell it. That is what I can tell you.
Is it true what they say that drugs destroy humanity and bring harm?
Well, it’s a reality that drugs destroy. Unfortunately, as I said, where I grew up there was no other way and there still isn’t a way to survive, no way to work in our economy to be able to make a living.
Do you think it is true you are responsible for the high level of drug addiction in the world?
No, that is false, because the day I don’t exist, it’s not going to decrease in any way at all. Drug trafficking? That’s false.
What is your opinion about the situation in Mexico, what is the outlook for Mexico?
Well, drug trafficking is already part of a culture that originated from the ancestors. And not only in Mexico. This is worldwide.
Do you consider your activity, your organization, a cartel?
No, sir, not at all. Because people who dedicate their lives to this activity do not depend on me.
What is the outlook for the business? Do you think it will disappear? Will it grow instead?
No, it will not end because as time goes by, we are more people, and this will never end.
Do you think terrorism activities in the Middle East will, in any way, impact the future of drug trafficking?
No, sir. It doesn’t make a difference at all.
You saw how the final days of Escobar were. How do you see your final days with respect to this business?
I know one day I will die. I hope it’s of natural causes.
With respect to your activities, what do you think the impact on Mexico is? Do you think there is a substantial impact?
Not at all. Not at all.
Because drug trafficking does not depend on just one person. It depends on a lot of people.
What is your opinion about who is to blame here, those who sell drugs, or the people who use drugs and create a demand for them? What is the relationship between production, sale and consumption?
If there was no consumption, there would be no sales. It is true that consumption, day after day, becomes bigger and bigger. So it sells and sells.
How is your relationship with your mom?
My relationship? Perfect. Very well.
Is it one of respect?
Yes, sir, respect, affection and love.
How do you see the future for your sons and daughters?
Very well. They get along right. The family is tight.
How about your life? How has your life changed, how have you lived it since you escaped?
Lots of happiness – because of my freedom.
Did you ever use drugs?
No, sir. Many years ago, yes, I did try them. But an addict? No.
How long ago?
I haven’t done any drugs in the last 20 years.
Did it not worry you that you might be putting your family at risk with your escape?
Mr. Penn even asks El Chapo about Donald Trump to which he replied, “Ah mi amigo!” Guzman boasted, “I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats.”
Guzman Loera is the father of 9 children, including two 4 year old twin daughters, by his latest wife, 26 year old beauty queen, Emma Coronel.
The full interview can be read here.