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Meeting with Sean Penn led forces to El Chapo

Posted at 11:21 PM, Jan 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-09 23:21:09-05

A Mexican law enforcement official says recaptured drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's secret interview with U.S. actor Sean Penn helped authorities locate his whereabouts.

Guzman was arrested early Friday after a shootout in his home state of Culiacan that killed five and injured one marine.

Mexico Attorney General Arely Gomez said Friday that Guzman's contact with actors and producers for a biopic helped gave law enforcement a new lead on tracking and capturing the world's most notorious drug kingpin.

The official, who spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity, said it was the Penn interview that led authorities to Guzman in a rural part of Durango state in October. They aborted their raid at the time because he was with two women and child. 

Rolling Stone magazine first reported that the meeting between Guzman and Penn was brokered by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo.

The magazine's website has a two-minute video it says is the first ever exclusive interview with Guzman. It is in Spanish and in it Guzman sits in front of a chain link face and speaks to a camera. He is wearing a print blue shirt and dark baseball cap, but his face is clearly visible. Accompanying the article is a picture of Penn shaking hands with Guzman.

In the interview, when asked about whether he is responsible for the high level of drug addiction in the world Guzman responds: "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."