Latin America

“The Mexican government is out to destroy me,” says actress Del Castillo

Soap star set to testify about her business relationship with drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán

Mexican actress Kate del Castillo.
Mexican actress Kate del Castillo.Reed Saxon / AP

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Mexican actress Kate del Castillo is expected to testify before prosecutors later Monday about her alleged business relationship with notorious drug trafficker Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán.

The interview is reportedly scheduled to take place at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles, where the soap actress lives.

In her first public statement since it was revealed she maintained a close friendship with the Sinaloa cartel leader and put him in contact with actor Sean Penn, Del Castillo said the Mexican government was “out to destroy me.”

“I don’t have anything to say to the press,” she said in a message sent to the US Spanish-language television network Univisión over the weekend.

“My lawyers have advised me not to give any statements because the government is out to destroy me,” she said.

“Mexican authorities have released scores of text messages between Del Castillo, Guzmán and his lawyer”

Guzmán, the most wanted drug fugitive in the world, is being held under tight security at the El Altiplano prison outside Mexico City following his capture on January 8.

After his arrest, it was revealed that Del Castillo had helped introduced Penn to El Chapo last October. The Hollywood actor and film director wrote a first-hand account of his meeting for Rolling Stone magazine.

Mexican authorities were able to trace El Chapo’s whereabouts after they monitored prior communications between the drug lord’s men and the actors.

Del Castillo was trying to produce a movie about Guzmán’s life and had reportedly asked him to participate in a tequila business with her.

On Saturday, the Hollywood gossip website TMZ located Del Castillo while she was dining at the El Coyote restaurant in Los Angeles, but she declined an interview.

Her representatives have also denied an EL PAÍS request for an interview.

Since El Chapo’s arrest, Mexican authorities have released scores of text messages between Del Castillo, Guzmán and his lawyer Andrés Granados.

When he escaped on July 11 from Altiplano through a tunnel dug underneath his cell, Del Castillo told Guzmán’s lawyer that she was going to celebrate.

Mexico’s Attorney General Arely Gómez said the actress is being investigated over whether she received any money from ‘El Chapo” for her tequila project

The actress, who played a female drug trafficker in the popular soap opera La reina del sur (The queen of the south), has lived in Los Angeles for many years.

Her father had said that she would testify at the Mexican Consulate, which was confirmed by prosecution sources consulted by Mexican daily La Jornada.

But other sources have declined to confirm whether the meeting will take place on Monday.

Del Castillo is being called in as a witness in the case.

But Mexican Attorney General Arely Gómez said the actress was also being investigated over whether she received any money from El Chapo for her tequila project.

Gómez added that at this time there were only “indications” that Del Castillo may have been involved in money-laundering activities.

English version by Martin Delfín.

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