The Sean Penn drugs war effect unquestionable—because Sean Penn says so, OK?

There is absolutely “no question” that Sean Penn has had an effect on the so-called War on Drugs.

How do we know this?

Well, because Sean Penn says so.

And, it’s not as if Sean Penn is just some insufferable “worthy” Hollywood star with an over-bloated ego and inflated sense of self importance.

So, yeah, if Sean Penn says it’s without question—then, it’s without question, OK?!!!!

As Popdust previously reported, the former Mr. Madonna jetted south of the border last October, for an interview with Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.

The ever-intrepid Penn hiked deep into the Mexican jungle to meet with the infamous drug lord.

Penn’s trip resulted in a momentous eleven-thousand word masterpiece of gloriously over-written prose, published by Rolling Stone in January.

In addition to the Rolling Stone article, Penn was credited with helping bring about the capture, and re-incarceration of El Chapo on January 7.

Although, it turns out, that wasn’t the case at all.

According to the NY Times, Mexican authorities had been tracking and monitoring Guzman for some time, and were planning to recapture him back in October.

However they had to delay the mission after Penn rolled into the jungle— amid fears the actor would be harmed during the capture.

The painfully serious Penn was scathingly mocked for his Rolling Stone ramblings, and criticized for giving a murderous sociopath the publicity he so clearly craved.

Shortly after the interview was published, Penn sat down with Charlie Rose to discuss the Chapo fiasco.

During the sit down, Penn admitted to regretting the way things turned out:

I have terrible regrets.

I have a regret that the entire discussion about this article ignores its purpose, which was to try to contribute to this discussion about the policy in the War on Drugs.

Let's go to the big picture of what we all want. We all want this drug problem to stop.

We all want them—the killings in Chicago to stop. We are the consumer.

Whether you agree with Sean Penn or not, there is a complicity there. And if you are in the moral right, or on the far left, just as many of your children are doing these drugs ...

And how much time have they spent in the last week since this article come [sic] out, talking about that?

One percent? I think that'd be generous.

My article failed.

Let me be clear. My article has failed.

Wait…. WHAAAT?!!!

Major props to Penn for referring to himself in the third person….but, failed?

Sean Penn admitting to have failed at something?!!

This isn’t the Sean Penn we all know and love to hate so well!

But, never fear!

After a brief period of self-reflection, the old Sean is back!

And now, there’s not a failure in sight!

In fact, Penn boasts to the Financial Times about how SUCCESSFUL his article was:

When I said it failed, that turned out not to be the case.

There’s no question there’s ultimately been more conversation about the drug war.

I can’t prove [it’s because of my article].

But I’ve noticed that there’s been more debate.

For Sean Penn spoke, and it came to be; Sean Penn commanded, and it stood firm.

For more entertainment, world, music and pop culture updates and news, follow Max Page on Twitter

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el chapo sean penn actress ElChapo Never Heard Of Sean Penn—Eager To Meet That Hot Actress Though

Turns out El Chapo had never heard of Sean Penn, prior to their clandestine meeting in Mexico last year—he was really eager to meet that hot Latino actress though…

Oh, the indignity!

Mexican Cannibal Drug Cartel Forces Members To Eat Victims’ Hearts

As Popdust previously reported, the ever-pompous and insufferably “worthy” actor jetted south of the border back in October, for an interview with the then-fugitive drug lord, deep in the Mexican jungle—resulting in a momentous eleven-thousand word masterpiece of self-important, over-written prose, published by Rolling Stone at the weekend—in addition to the subsequent capture, and re-incarceration of El Chapo last Friday.

The interview came about courtesy of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s vanity—during his six-months on the run, the Sinaloa cartel chief started developing a biopic about his life, reaching out to a number of actresses and producers in hopes of arranging a “meet and greet” to discuss the project.

How LA’s Fashion District Became A Mexican Drug Cartel Money Laundering Hub

Not surprisingly, Guzman focused in on a smokin’ hot actress as his prime meet and greet choice—Mexican-born-turned-U.S.-citizen, Kate del Castillo—and began courting her in late September, via a number of text messages, in a bid to woo her to the jungle.

According to NBC News

Guzman, who is referred to as “Papa” in the texts, tells del Castillo that he is in Sinaloa, and eager to meet her, so eager in fact, that old Shorty—who Forbes estimates to have a fortune of $4 billion squirreled away somewhere—even vows to stray from the straight and narrow just for her, promising that even though he doesn’t drink, he would be willing to knock back a few shots of tequila, and a couple of glasses of vino, if she brings it with her.

Now, THAT’S an offer that’s hard for any lady to resist.

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However, for some bizarre reason, del Castillo doesn’t immediately jump at the offer to hang out deep in the jungle, miles from anywhere, on her lonesome, with the fugitive “Godfather of the Drug World” who is believed to have directly, or indirectly, murdered literally thousands of people.

Instead, she suggests bringing her old buddy, Sean Penn along for the ride.

Now, you might think that idea would have El Chapo in a Hollywood glitz and glamour-induced joyous frenzy, busting out his autograph book, and dusting off his copy of Shanghai Surprise to enjoy for the 10,000th time, in anticipation of the Oscar winner’s arrival—but, nah, not so much.

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Turns out, as evidenced by subsequent texts back and forth between Guzman and his attorney, that the 61-year-old (or 58, no-one is quite sure of the exact year of his birth) had never even heard of the great actor and activist.

Hahaha.

Here’s (an English translation) of those texts:

El Chapo: Who is this actor?

Attorney: Sean Penn

Attorney: He is known for that movie 21 Grams

El Chapo: What year was that movie?

Attorney: I’m checking the date, as I don’t know exactly

El Chapo: OK

Attorney: It was 2003

Attorney: he’s also a political activist

Attorney: Who has been critical of the Bush administration

Oh well, one thing’s for certain, Guzman’s going to have plenty of time on his hands to watch 21 Grams, now that he’s back in the same jail that he escaped from, through an elaborately engineered one mile long secret tunnel, last July.

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This time round though, Mexican authorities are taking all precautions to ensure El Chapo doesn’t bribe tunnel his way to freedom yet again—moving him from cell to cell every few days, and keeping him under 24 hour surveillance.

Yeah, good luck with that guys.

For more entertainment, world, music and pop culture updates and news, follow Max Page on Twitter

Minds were blown on The Blacklist this week when we found out from Red that Tom Keen is blacklister number 7.

Number 7 people!!!! That’s literally the highest ranked blacklister yet.

Well, naturally Red did it. He found out that Tom infiltrated a drug cartel in Germany, so he and Ressler took off to find him. The way Red’s mind works is amazing. He notified the German police that there would be a shipment of illegal weapons at the airport which they confiscated, and one guess who’s weapons they were.

Red then met with an acquaintance named Franz who arranged for the shipment and he convinced Franz to let him deal with the drug cartel (and Tom) who wanted the weapons. When Tom showed up, he was shocked to see Red. Red told him that Lizzie was in deep shit and needed his help to get out of it, but he informed Red that Lizzie was on her own.

Just then, the rest of the gang walked in and Red royally fucked Tom by identifying him as a police informant. Cue bullets flying all around. Every single gang member was killed but Tom escaped and Red seemed satisfied that he delivered his message.

Back at the FBI, things were not looking up for Lizzie. Cooper is pissed that he had to lie for her after he said he wouldn’t. As they were arguing, Cooper collapsed and was taken to the hospital where the doctors feared that his brain tumor was getting worse.

Lizzie was left to face the music with Judge Denner all on her own, and just as he was getting ready to throw the book at her, the guards walked in with Tom in handcuffs and he confessed to killing the harbormaster. No freaking way.

In chambers, Tom and Denner have it out over the real story and whether or not Denner would charge Lizzie with additional crimes. Eventually Denner returned to the courtroom and announced that he would not be requiring Lizzie or Cooper to testify as a matter of national security.

Lizzie was concerned about what would happen to Tom but was informed by Tom Connolly that “there’s no Tom Keen in federal custody.”

That sneaky spy!!!!!!! The fact of the matter is that Red knew that the government would let Tom go, but he didn’t care as long as it meant that Lizzie was OK.

What a sweet, loving criminal!

What did you think of this week’s episode of The Blacklist? Sound off in the comments below!

Anyone who ever watched The Wire knows the expression “He’s gotta lotta heart” refers to a man who is seen as particularly strong and tough.

Reuters is reporting that one particularly brutal Mexican drug cartel is perhaps taking the expression too literally—forcing its members to eat their murder victims’ hearts as part of a seriously grisly and gruesome initiation ritual.

Alfredo Castillo, federal security commissioner for the western state of Michoacan, said there are various testimonies confirming heart-eating initiations.

"The ritual ranged from dismembering people they intended to kill to sometimes serving up the heart," Castillo said. As in live people. They dismembered live people.

In the last year, Michoacan has been overrun by drug gangs, in addition to roaming groups of vigilantes battling them. What has resulted is a virtual war zone in this once peaceful mountain state.

Eleven people were killed in a mid-December shootout between two rival gangs and the blood bath has triggered fears that, despite flooding the state with federal troops, the government is failing to control, let alone subdue, the ensuing mayhem.

Last month's massacre followed hot on the heels of an even worse atrocity back in September, that saw 43 trainee teachers abducted and murdered by a drug gang working alongside corrupt police officials in nearby Guerrero state.

The main gangs operating in Michoacan—La Familia Michoacana, and spin off, the Knights Templar—were originally founded by Nazario Moreno, AKA "The Craziest One," a sinister crime lord who was finally, officially, killed in March 2014, despite having being previously declared dead back in 2010.

In just the last seven years alone, over 100,000 people have been killed in gang-related violence in Mexico.

Meanwhile, read here about how notorious '80s drug king pin, Pablo Escobar, continues to wreak havoc throughout his native Colombia, long after his death...... it's a story that proves life is very often way stranger than fiction.....

Los Angeles is known for many things - sun, surf, movie stars and smog, but now you can add one more thing to the list - a Mexican drug cartel money laundering hub.

Following a series of federal raids on and around Los Angeles' historic Fashion District, earlier this week, it’s come to light that the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel has been using wholesale fashion store fronts as a way to launder and transfer criminally-earned money back to Mexico.

Since 2010, when Mexico limited the amount of U.S. currency that can be deposited in their banks, exchanges and brokerage accounts, the cartels have been hard pressed to find ways to get their drug dealing, and related criminal activities, earnings from the states back into their possession in Mexico, without alerting authorities.

However, as is usually the case with hugely successful criminal enterprises, it looks like they managed to find a way. Taking a page from the good old Colombian drug cartel king, Pablo Escobar's 1980s’ Miami money laundering tactics guide book, the Sinaloa drug lords starting utilizing wholesale retail businesses to funnel their dirty cash and then return it, nice and clean, back to Mexico.

It worked like this, black market peso brokers would contact legitimate businesses south of the border and broker deals to import clothing goods from LA. Once a deal was struck, the peso brokers would contact a U.S. based cartel employee and they would pay the cost of the order in cash dollars to one of the LA Fashion District wholesalers. Meanwhile, the importer in Mexico would transfer the order amount into the broker’s account, in pesos—the broker would then take their cut and pay the remainder to the cartel.

And, bingo! Just like that the dirty dollars became clean pesos in the cartel’s grubby hands and Mexican bank accounts.

One of the businesses being utilized by the cartel was QT Fashion, a maternity clothing store in downtown LA, which helped facilitate the laundering of $140,000 in ransom money paid by a cartel hostage’s American family in order to secure his release.

And, they would have got away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky law-enforcement dudes!

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents had been monitoring the laundering operation for some time, before going undercover—infiltrating black market peso brokerages, and approaching the suspected Fashion District stores with bundles of shrink-rapped, blood spattered cash they claimed had come from drug trafficking and needed laundering. According to the agents, nobody even blinked at their request, and willingly took the dirty dosh.

The FBI became involved in the operation following the kidnap ransom payment, and, when they finally gathered enough intel they struck— conducting dramatic raids of 75 LA area locations on Thursday.

According to the LA Times, the raids resulted in nine arrests and the seizure of $90million—$70million of that in cold hard cash.

During one of the raids, on a condo, Feds uncovered a whopping $35 million packed inside banker boxes piled in a bedroom—in another, at a Bel-Air mansion, they discovered $10 million stuffed inside of a duffel bag

We all know soccer (or rather, “fúbol”) fans are hardcore when it comes to their fanaticism for the beautiful game—so let’s face it, Brazil’s 7-1 loss to Germany earlier this week can’t have been easy for the host nation’s footie lovers to stomach.

But, World Cup organizers are hoping a shrine to slain Colombian footballer Andres Escobar, situated in Rio de Janeiro, will help fans remember how far sports mania can go, and how dangerous and regretful the consequences of that can be.

Maybe the most poignant moment following Brazil’s defeat was David Luiz’s tearful apology, where he pretty much summed up the disappointment to a T.

“I just wanted to give joy to the people who suffer so much. Unfortunately we could not, sorry everyone, all Brazilians. I just wanted to see people smiling…” said Luiz.

Total. Fucking. Bummer.

But at least things weren’t as bad as they could be. Not sure what I’m talking about? Let’s take a little trip down memory lane, back to the 94’ World Cup.

It’s Colombia Vs the United States – Colombia’s second match of the tournament. In attempts to cut out across U.S. midfielder John Harkes, defender Andres Escobar ends up deflecting the ball… into his own net.

That’s right, Andres Escobar, the “Gentleman of the Field” (El Caballero del Fútbol) scored a goddamn OWN GOAL… but, not just an own goal… the deciding goal…Colombia lost the game 2-1.

Their World Cup dreams were dashed and they were heading home.

10 days later, Escobar was dead.

How’s that for a shock-and-awe inspiring headline?

The 27-year-old was gunned down outside of a nightclub, in a Medellin parking lot. And at a time when most of the county was only too aware of the influence and power of the drug cartels, it wasn’t long before rumors started to spread about who was responsible for the murder.

Escobar had gone to the club with some friends to try and get his mind off the World Cup. But soon after walking in, he left, to avoid the harassment and heckling that he had been met with—witnesses say patrons starting chanting “own-goal, Andrés, own-goal!” as he entered.

Escobar was shot six times in the parking lot of El Indio nightclub after an argument with men who were later tied to the cartels.

Needless to say, a lot of the other Colombian players were freaked….the.... fuck….out.

Faustino Asprilla, the team’s center forward, said he was assigned 20 bodyguards after the murder. Others went into hiding. Several decided they would never play for their country again.

Humberto Castro Muñoz was later identified as the triggerman and sentenced to 42 years in prison. Muñoz was a driver for renown drug traffickers Pedro David and his brother Juan Santiago Gallon Henao—but, through it all, he refused to implicate his bosses, who were with him at the time of the murder. He was subsequently released after just 11 years.

20 years later, fans are taking time to make sure that Escobar is remembered during the 2014 games. In a small pavilion in the quiet, sun-kissed gardens of Rio de Janeiro’s Museu da Republica, a shrine stands in honor of the murdered player.

Going forward, let’s hope we can learn from the past, keep our mistakes at bay, and act as rationally as we can despite all our irrational urges.