On an October day in 2015, we were this close to “mourning” the loss of leftist actor Sean Penn.
The actor had been invited to a sit-down with Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the drug lord better known as “El Chapo.” Joined by Mexican soap-opera star Kate del Castillo, who had arranged the meeting, their journey required two planes and a rocky seven-hour ride in an SUV to a remote location near the city of Cosalá in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.
Guzmán, who had escaped from a Mexican prison just months earlier, hadn’t invited his guests to discuss drug trafficking. He wanted their help making a movie about his life.
Penn’s acute leftism is bad enough, but El Chapo, one of the deadliest cartel leaders in history, was Penn’s idol. He really is a despicable person, even by Hollywood standards.
Long before Penn and del Castillo boarded a plane for Mexico, plots were underway for the Mexican marines to raid Guzmán’s hideout and take him into custody.
The marines, otherwise known as the Naval Infantry Force, are an elite, US-trained force with a reputation for ruthlessness. In 2009, they killed another Mexican drug kingpin, Arturo Beltrán Leyva, and “covered his naked body in cash and put pictures of it on the Internet,” Feuer writes.
The Marines were ready to move in and wipe everyone out, and when they were told Penn was there, they still wanted to continue. I guess they weren’t big fans of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.