Sean Penn’s controversial interview with El Chapo did one major thing: it undermined all the drug war victims, including those who live in fear and the journalists who have died trying to report the truth. This, according to writer and poet Javier Sicilia and journalist Alfredo Corchado.
In the interview, Sean Penn portrayed El Chapo as a sort of “Robin Hood” who helped his community and only kills when necessary. The interview, even a week later, is still grabbing headlines.
Sicilia, whose 24-year-old son was tortured and killed by cartel members in 2011, says, “The face of El Chapo is a smokescreen. Behind the kingpin’s image, which is magnified by the media and the politics of Mexico and the United States, is the hidden truth… of the dead and those who are still disappearing.”
And, in terms of the many journalists who have lost their lives, Corchado says this interview was an “epic insult to journalists who died in the name of the truth.”
Now Sicilia is asking del Castillo and Penn to use their fame to garner attention for the victims, including those who still live in fear and are constantly disappearing: “[Penn] has a good reputation as a defender of noble causes… and Kate del Castillo—who accompanied us in Los Angeles when we did our march for peace—have the capacity to interview many people,” he said. “And while governments and the media continue to use abstract numbers to talk about victims, it will be difficult to move and touch the hearts of others.”
Read more of what Javier Sicilia has to say from NBC News here.