Mexicop City, Jan 11 (IANS) Mexican filmmaker Dragon Films will premier a production titled “El Chapo: The Escape of the Century” next week. However, this was not the film that drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was hoping for.
His story was truly worthy of Hollywood, believed Guzman, who was working in collaboration with Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, known for her television portrayal of a female drug lord, to bring it to the silver screen, reported Xinhua news agency.
He reportedly contacted her twice, scrambling to tell his story. His lawyers’ conversations with actors and producers helped lead authorities to his hideout in his northwestern home state of Sinaloa.
The moment before he was loaded onto a chopper for jail may mark the humblest point in his life, with rows of media cameras there to record his embarrassment.
Nonetheless, Guzman was not a man to easily settle for a humble life, as his journey from an impoverished childhood to the peak of his notorious career proves.
With the help of Castillo, three months before his third arrest, Hollywood A-lister Sean Penn interviewed Guzman in depth in Mexico for an article that was published by Rolling Stone magazine on Saturday.
Guzman asked Penn whether many people in the US had heard of him, before proudly declaring: “I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats.”
Media often called Guzman the “Lord of Tunnels” because his Sinaloa Cartel excelled at smuggling drugs through underground passages between Mexico and the US, and he himself repeatedly managed to elude police and troops hunting him, and even imprisonment, by meticulously constructing holes deep in the earth.
Ambition and achievement were at the heart of Guzman’s thinking. They were also the key elements in successive TV dramas and movies about drug capos that drew huge audiences and high box office sales.
Drug lords, both fictitious and real, have long captured the imagination as lead characters in movies and TV.
In “Narcos”, a Netflix series based on the ups and downs of Colombian capo Pablo Escobar, the kingpin is venerated not for generating wealth from drug smuggling, but for his generosity in helping the poor and bravery in running for Congress, though eventually ejected and exiled.
In “Sicario”, a Hollywood adventure about the extradition of drug traffickers across the US-Mexico border, the criminals permeate society and weave a network against the government, but are protective of their own family and friends.
In the realm of law, kingpins were punishable. In reality, they were “heroes,” especially for those who benefited from their largesse.
At his home in Sinaloa state, Guzman was revered as a Robin Hood, for the local community depended on his business for their livelihood.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the border, his ability to sneak tonnes of cocaine, heroin and marijuana into the US made him “public enemy number one” in Chicago and a dozen other states.
As one of the most prominent actors-directors in Hollywood, Sean Penn was somber enough not to be deceived by the obvious pomp, violence and double-edged benevolence, and daring enough to delve deeper.
He asked Guzman who was to blame for drug trafficking.
Guzman gave his answer: “If there was no consumption, there would be no sales. It is true that consumption grows bigger and bigger by the day. So it sells and sells.”