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Drug Kingpin El Chapo's "Horrifying" Comments

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La Prensa, Jan. 11, 2015

"Horrified!" Monday's front page of Mexican daily La Prensareads,quoting White House reaction to the Rolling Stone"s interview — by actor Sean Penn — with the world's most prominent drug trafficker, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Mexican authorities started U.S. extradition proceedings late Sunday against the Mexican drug kingpin, who was recaptured Friday in northwestern Mexico after a manhunt lasting several months. Guzman had escaped last July from a maximum-security prison in Mexico.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said he was "horrified" by El Chapo's comments to the Rolling Stone, in which he boasted of supplying "more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world" and having "a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats." McDonough called the arrest "very good news."

Penn said the interview, which took place in October, was coordinated by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. Mexican authorities, who want El Chapo to face U.S. justice for the tons of drugs he has exported across the border, say they also helped plan the meeting, Reuters reports.

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Ideas

A Writer's Advice For How To Read The Words Of Politics

Colombia's reformist president has promised to tackle endemic violence, economic exclusion, pollution and corruption in the country. So what's new with a politician's promises?

Image of Colombian President Gustavo Petro speaking during a press conference in Buenos Aires on Jan 14, 2023

Colombian President Gustavo Petro, speaks during a press conference in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 24, 2023.

Manuel Cortina/ZUMA
Héctor Abad Faciolince

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — Don't concentrate on his words, I was once advised, but look at what he's doing. I heard the words so long ago I cannot recall who said them. The point is, what's the use of a husband who vows never to beat his wife in January and leaves her with a bruised face in February?

Words are a strange thing, and in literal terms, we must distrust their meaning. As I never hit anyone, I have never declared that I wouldn't. It never occurred to me to say it. Strangely, there is more power and truth in a simple declaration like "I love her" than in the more emphatic "I love her so much." A verbal addition here just shrinks the "sense" of love.

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