Meet Kate del Castillo, the Mexican actress known for her portrayal of drug boss Teresa Mendoza in the telenovela (soap opera) La Reina del Sur (Queen of the South), and the key player leading to the re-capture of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman last week.
It was Kate that brokered the deal for Sean Penn to meet the most wanted man in Mexico; and also was present during the clandestine interview.
She is an actress who does not shy away from controversy. Back in 2012, Kate appealed to Guzman, urging him to use his drug trafficking empire for love, not violence.
According to Sean Penn, the drug lord’s lawyer contacted Kate after the appeal because El Chapo wanted to send her some flowers. That was the starting point that led the actress to become the go-between for the Rolling Stone interview.
Kate del Castillo is a famous name here in Mexico for her acting roles. Born in Mexico City in 1972 into an acting family.
La Reina del Sur is a drama based on the novel of the same name by Spanish author Arturo Perez Reverte. In the series, Kate plays a young woman from Mexico who rises through the ranks of the Sinaloa drugs cartel to become the most powerful drug trafficker in southern Spain.
But for this latest “role”, Kate has moved away from the fictional world of drug lords and is now at the centre of a real and very controversial drug trafficker’s tale.
In real life, “El Chapo” is the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, considered by United States Intelligence Community as “the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world”.