Surveillance photos surfaced Monday revealing just how close an eye Mexican authorities had on Sean Penn when he journeyed south of the border to interview fugitive drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
The grainy pictures, posted online by the Mexican newspaper El Universal, show the two-time Oscar winner wearing sunglasses, a baseball cap and a scruffy beard ahead of his seven-hour meeting with the head of the feared Sinaloa Cartel.
In one shot, Penn is seen strolling through an airport terminal, while another shows him and Mexican soap-opera star Kate del Castillo — who brokered the sit-down — at the Villa Ganz boutique hotel in Guadalajara, greeting some men involved in their further transport.
Other images reportedly depict one of two small airplanes that ferried Penn and Castillo to Mexico’s drug-producing “Golden Triangle” region, as well as a crude airstrip from which the craft took off.
Many of the 10 photos appear to have been shot at a distance with a telephoto lens, and some are labeled to identify del Castillo and other people.
El Universal said the pictures were contained in a Mexican government intelligence file that it obtained.
In his 10,000-word article for Rolling Stone, Penn described taking elaborate precautions to evade authorities, including using individual “burner” phones to communicate with various people involved in the arrangement.
But he noted — presciently, it turned out — that as he flew to meet El Chapo, “I see no spying eyes, but I assume they are there.”