Home / Spring 2016 / 2016-01-28 / Sean Penn’s interview with El Chapo justifiable

Sean Penn’s interview with El Chapo justifiable

Photo Courtesy of MCTCampus

Written by Carlius Williams, Staff Writer

Is El Chapo a master drug dealer or grand champion at hide-and-seek?

He was born Joaquin Guzmán Loera, is a Mexican drug lord who is known for evading police and has even escaped jail a couple times. His last escape was through a mile-long hole in the bathroom of his cell that led to a construction site. During his last escape from prison, he met with Sean Penn. Some were wondering if it was for him to discuss possibly playing Loera in an autobiography, or did El Chapo believe that Sean Penn was the perfect journalist worthy of his first interview?

In the interview, El Chapo discussed his development and upbringing into the drug game and how, at the tender age of six, he had to sell oranges and soft drink to provide for his poor family. By fifteen he was selling and growing marijuana and poppies.

“I supply more heroin, meth, cocaine, and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks, and boats,” said El Chapo in the Rolling Stone interview.

His fortune is worth an estimated $1 billion dollars. Even though most of it came covered in blood, Guzmán does not consider himself a violent man. He once denied being in the drug business in 1993 by simply saying that he farmed and sold corn and beans.

The simple fact that the world’s most successful kingpin is having interviews with actors like Sean Penn all while just having escaped a prison is crazy. The escape caused a lot of governmental officials their jobs. There was even a modified motorcycle to run in low-oxygen environment deep underground to guarantee his escape.

In what was his first interview in decades he appeared in a silk shirt and pressed pants. Surrounded by his troop of more than 100 men, El Chapo, Sean Penn and Kate Del Castillo met in a jungle on top of a mountain. Police troops surrounded the place a couple days after the interview, but El Chapo escaped unharmed and continued the interview with Blackberry messenger and with video messaging.

El Chapo has become a folk hero for his many successful escapes from high security prisons. It may seem like he is a professional hide-and-seek champion, but what makes him act in this particular way?

The War on Drugs is definitely not working when addiction has been steadily rising and the number of murders within the Mexican drug cartel have risen in recent years. Why so much focus on this one individual from all media outlets? It makes me feel like there is something that we are not paying attention too.

That many journalists are asking for Penn’s head since he was the first person to successfully interview El Chapo says a lot. It seems to me that Sean Penn was at the right place at the right time. He even said that the interview was a fail, because instead of focusing on the big picture many are more concerned on why did he get to interview El Chapo when he is not even a journalist? The point of the interview was to understand El Chapo’s character.

Who is to say that El Chapo didn’t start with good morals as a kid? Who is to say that drugs weren’t the only answer to his problem? I know plenty of people who turn to drugs and feel as though drugs are their only way to escape. By becoming a drug lord he was able to provide for his poor family. The character of a drug dealer will seem unethical and evil to someone who has never went without a meal or two. El Chapo escaping jail should not be the most talked about story in news when, in 2016, you still have American children getting shot in the name of policing. The question should become what needs to be changed about the War on Drugs, and is it more of a war against those who have versus those who strive to get it?

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