Mexican authorities wanted the US to hand over actress Kate del Castillo in return for notorious drug lord El Chapo following the revelation of their clandestine meeting with Sean Penn.
The furious Mexican government demanded del Castillo be handed over to them by the US after it was revealed she and Penn traveled to meet Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán in the jungle.
A source tells us, “The Mexican government was embarrassed that they had told the US authorities that they didn’t know where El Chapo was, then two actors from Hollywood were able to find him. After the Rolling Stone piece came out, they wanted to swap El Chapo for Kate. They want to embarrass her.”
The Mexican telenovela actress, who is a US national and lives in LA, has not been accused of any wrongdoing, and US authorities would not turn her over. But she has hired power attorney Harland Braun , who told us, “She is a US citizen. There is no mechanism for such a handover.” She is also working with LA-based political and p.r. guru Richard Grenell.
She is under investigation in Mexico, with reports saying that charges could be linked to money laundering in connection to a film she wanted to make about El Chapo or claims she was seeking his backing for her tequila brand. But Braun said, “It’s absurd. There is no money laundering,” and there was no financial transaction between her and El Chapo.
The communication between del Castillo and El Chapo began before his escape from prison in July 2015, and continued during the six months he was on the run before his recapture on Jan. 8. He is being held at a prison in Mexico, and will be extradited to the US after an expected year or more.
The October 2015 meeting between Penn, del Castillo and El Chapo was revealed in the article Penn wrote for Rolling Stone. Penn said del Castillo brokered the meeting and was close to the drug lord. But the claims Penn makes are now expected to be questioned in an upcoming piece for the New Yorker, written by Robert Draper, who flew to Mexico and LA to interview del Castillo.