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Guzman’s infatuation with actress led to downfall—official

/ 12:20 PM January 13, 2016
The Week That Was in Latin America Photo Gallery

In this Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 photo, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is made to face the press as he’s escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by soldiers and marines at a federal hangar in Mexico City. INSET: In this March 24, 2013 file photo, Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo attends a NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race in Fontana, Calif. Del Castillo stepped out of the fictional drug-trafficker roles she played on TV and got involved in the real world of drug capos, after Sean Penn credited her with setting up a secret meeting with the world’s most-wanted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. AP File Photos

MEXICO CITY, Mexico—Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was apparently infatuated with actress Kate del Castillo and his desire to see her again contributed to his downfall, government officials said Tuesday.

Del Castillo, a Mexican-American actress, brokered the notorious meeting between Guzman and US actor Sean Penn at an undisclosed jungle clearing in October, three months before the fugitive’s capture.

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READ: Sean Penn: Nothing to hide over drug lord interview

Following that meeting, which Mexican authorities had known about, troops entered Guzman’s remote mountain stronghold in northwestern Mexico in order to “spit him out toward a city,” a government official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

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Guzman eventually made his way last week to the seaside city of Los Mochis in his native Sinaloa state, where he was captured in a deadly military operation on Friday.

READ: Mexican president: drug lord Chapo Guzman recaptured

The other factor that led Guzman to Los Mochis was that he was “really very interested in meeting the actress again,” the official said.

“This was an almost obsessive interest that turned into another incentive to go down to the city, where he wanted to meet with her,” the official said, adding that Guzman did not see the 43-year-old actress again.

Another official said that Guzman, 58, used the codename “hermosa” (“beautiful”) when referring to the actress, who became famous for her role as a drug lord in the TV series “The Queen of the South.”

DVDs of the show were found in the house that marines raided in Los Mochis.

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Guzman fled the house through a tunnel during a gunfight between troops and his henchmen, but he was caught later after he had stolen a car.

Penn, in an article published by Rolling Stone magazine on Saturday, said Del Castillo had been in contact with Guzman and arranged the meeting.

The drug lord wanted to make a film about himself but “would entrust its telling only to Kate,” Penn wrote.

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TAGS: Crime, Drugs, El Chapo, Film, Joaquin Guzman, Mexico, US
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