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Matt Damon Defends Sean Penn’s El Chapo Interview


Matt Damon is jumping to the defense of fellow actor Sean Penn amid mounting criticism of Penn’s clandestine exclusive interview for Rolling Stone with violent Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera.

Backstage at Sunday’s Golden Globe awards, after he was named best actor in a motion picture musical or comedy for The Martian, Damon said he had yet to read Penn’s in-depth interview with the former fugitive.


“I haven’t read it yet; I definitely plan to,” said Damon, according to Variety. “I subscribe to Rolling Stone, so it’s already been sent to me.”

The actor then defended Penn’s actions, saying, “But look, it’s nothing new, actors going and seeking out meetings like this.”

“It’s part of what we do in our job really well and Sean somehow figured out that he had an audience with this person and I’m sure was pursuing something creatively and thought a meeting with him would be valuable, so he did it,” said Damon.

Meanwhile, former talk show host and current Fox News personality Gerlado Rivera took to his Twitter page to defend Penn and to place some of the blame for the atrocities carried out by El Chapo’s Sinoloa drug cartel on the United States.

El Chapo escaped from a maximum security Mexican prison in July of last year, but he was recaptured on Friday. His drug cartel is believed to be responsible for thousands of violent murders.

In October, Penn traveled to Mexico, where he interviewed El Chapo for Rolling Stone. That interview was published on Saturday, a day after the drug lord was arrested following a firefight with authorities in the northwest Mexican town of Los Mochis.

Recounting a harrowing journey including remote locations, guns, and throw away cell phones, Penn described the drug lord as a “humble, rural Mexican, whose perception of his place in the world offers a window into an extraordinary riddle of cultural disparity.”

“Do you dream? …do you have “hopes for your life? …If you could change the world, would you?” were a few of the questions Penn asked the fugitive, who was also allotted editorial control of the interview’s first draft.

In the interview, El Chapo also brags to Penn that he supplies “more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world,” and expresses no remorse for the violent actions carried out on his behalf.

Rolling Stone’s decision to allow Penn, who is not a journalist, the opportunity to interview El Chapo is leading to criticism, as is the publication’s decision to give the cartel leader editorial control over the interview.

Despite efforts by both Penn and El Chapo’s people to cover their digital tracks to protect the fugitive drug lord’s location from law enforcement, Penn’s actions reportedly unwittingly helped authorities capture the cartel leader.

A source told Breitbart Texas El Chapo likely would not have been captured had it not been for Penn’s meeting, as authorities “were able to identify hundreds of radios and cell phones and get a complete map of targets for electronic intel collection.”

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