Sean Penn's role in a Rolling Stone magazine interview of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán – which resulted in the fugitive Mexican drug lord's capture – is being widely criticized and mocked.
The Rolling Stone
on Saturday released a 9-000 word article written by Penn titled "El Chapo Speaks," arranged by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, as the world was digesting the news that Guzman had been captured, noted the Seattle Times
The El Chapo interview took place in October after Guzman's July escape from Mexico's maximum-security prison in Altiplano through a mile-long tunnel dug under the jail, said Rolling Stone.
Penn's rare access to Guzman in October was assisted by del Castillo, reported Reuters. They were driven some of the way to the hideout by Guzman's son, who the Hollywood star says was waved on by soldiers when they apparently recognized him.
Another leg of the day-long trip through central Mexico to meet Guzman was on a light aircraft allegedly fitted with equipment to evade radar detection, Penn said in the Rolling story. He said he was sure the Mexican government and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration were tracking him.
Mexican President Pena Nieto, who announced on Friday that Guzman had been recaptured by Mexican authorities, confirmed that Penn's travel to see Guzman helped in his capture.
Criticism of Penn's interview was "immediate and brutal," said the Times, noting that Guzman had the final approval of the story, which brought down media criticism on yet another Rolling Stone journalistic stumble.
"If one of these American actors who have benefited from the greatness of this country, who have made money from our free enterprise system, want to go fawn all over a criminal and a drug trafficker in their interviews, they have a constitutional right to do it," U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said on ABC's "This Week" according to The Hill
. "I find it grotesque."
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said he was "appalled" by Guzman's comments as passed along by Penn.
"I was appalled by his bragging … about an epidemic that's sweeping this country on heroin addiction," McDonough said on the ABC news program. "I was appalled by his bragging to the interviewers in Rolling Stone that he moves more heroin than anyone in the world."
Shawn Moran, vice president for the National Border Patrol Council, told Breitbart.com
that Guzman leads a "violent, sophisticated" organization and accused Penn of making him out of a celebrity.
"It is good that the Mexican military has recaptured this dangerous man," said Moran. "Every day our agents see first-hand the ruthlessness, and violent acts these cartels are responsible for. … Sean Penn and others who would celebrate this man or capitalize on his situation only further put law enforcement on both sides of the border in danger."
Others took their complaints to social media.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.