Crime 'Do I Start Trouble? Never': Sean Penn Had Secret Meeting with Wanted Drug Lord 'El Chapo' Ahead of His Arrest The actor, 55, met with the drug lord for a special feature for Rolling Stone By Maria Mercedes Lara Maria Mercedes Lara Instagram Twitter Maria Mercedes Lara is the Digital Content Operations Director for PEOPLE, where she oversees content management and editorial workflow for the digital team as well as focus on increasing growth through PEOPLE's newsletters, homepage and notification audiences. She previously held the position of Deputy News Director for PEOPLE.com. Before joining PEOPLE, Maria worked at POPSUGAR, SpinMedia Group and Jezebel. She graduated with a B.A. in Literature from Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at the New School in New York City. Maria currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two children. People Editorial Guidelines Published on January 9, 2016 09:40 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Rebecca Blackwell;Steve Granitz/WireImage Sean Penn secretly met with Joaqu n “El Chapo” Guzm n Loera while he was evading authorities following an escape from a Mexican prison last year to conduct an interview for Rolling Stone. In an article posted on the magazine’s website on Saturday night, Penn, 55, details how he spent months organizing an interview with one of the most wanted men in the world. In July 2015, Guzm n, the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, escaped the Altiplano I federal penitentiary using a secret tunnel. His escape prompted an international manhunt, which ended this week when he was recaptured on Friday. Despite Guzm n’s fearsome reputation as a notorious cartel head, he told Penn that he does not consider himself a violent person. “Look, all I do is defend myself, nothing more. But do I start trouble? Never.” In the series of interviews, one of which took place in-person in October at secret location in the Mexican wilderness, Guzm n also revealed that he hasn’t done drugs in 20 years (although he did try them) and said his goal was “to live with my family the days God gives me.” He also said that he’s “a person who’s not looking for problems in any way.” The raid of Guzm n’s residence in Mexico resulted in serious gunfire and left five suspects dead. Six suspects from the compound were also arrested. According to Mexican authorities, the raid was the work of six months of investigation and they initially were planning on storming Guzm n’s hideout in October – the same month Penn visited the cartel head – but decided to abort the mission because Guzm n was with women and children. On Sunday, an anonymous Mexican authority told the Associated Press that they were able to track Guzm n in October because of the Penn interview. Authorities also said that Guzm n had been working to make a biopic of his own life. Penn, meanwhile, has a busy weekend ahead of him. On Saturday night, he hosted the star-studded Help Haiti Home gala in Los Angeles.