Drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán may not have had any idea who Sean Penn was before agreeing to meet with him in the jungle, but he definitely knew all about Penn’s companion, Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, a beautiful tequila spokesperson he wanted to bring home to his mother.
The tone of El Chapo’s messages, the majority of which were sent via Blackberry Messenger, are that of a deeply dehydrated man trying to wring the last drops of water out of a crumpled Poland Springs bottle.
According to reports, El Chapo provided del Castillo with her burner phone, reportedly trying four different phone stores in search of a pink Blackberry before settling for a grey one. The cocaine-crossed texters apparently went by the code names “Mama” and “Papá.”
Still, one thing El Chapo has never been accused of is subtlety, and his textual seduction was no exception—though del Castillo appeared to be, at the very least, flattered by his affection. CNN translated some of the exchange, which was published in Spanish Wednesday by the Mexican newspaper, Mileno.
- Papá: I really want to meet you in person, friend.
- M: Well, me too.
- (Guzman provides details on the journey needed to reach his location)
- Papá: You are the best of this world. We will be great friends ... I will take care of you more than my own eyes
- M: I’m beyond moved that you say you will care for me. no one has ever taken care of me, thank you!
“How is the best and most intelligent woman in the world, who I admire a lot?” El Chapo would later write to del Castillo, a woman he knew from TV.
“I must confess that I feel protected for the first time. You’ll know my story when we have time to speak, but for some reason I feel safe and I know you know who I am, not as an actress or a public figure, but as a woman, as a person,” she later responded.
Penn’s visit—which marked El Chapo’s first time seeing del Castillo in person and was, according to some authorities, El Chapo’s downfall—appeared to be no more than a pretext for getting the actress alone.
“Tell Kate that when she comes we will drink tequila and dance. Tell her that,” El Chapo instructed an associate in the days leading up to Penn’s visit. Afterwards, the pair—using new codenames—recounted the visit over BBM.
- Ermoza (del Castillo): I haven’t been able to sleep much since I saw you. I’m very excited about our story. It’s true. It’s the only thing I can think of.
- 1 (El Chapo): Let me tell you that I’m more excited about you than the story, my friend.
- Ermoza (del Castillo): Ha, ha,ha! Knowing that makes me really glad. You make me blush.
“I must say, my mother wants to meet you. I told her about you,” he texted del Castillo a few weeks later.
It’s still unclear if he has any idea who Sean Penn is.