Mexican actress Kate del Castillo has been exonerated in accusations of money laundering made against her following a secret meeting with international drug lord Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán.
Making the announcement, Mexico’s attorney general on Saturday cited lack of evidence in the investigation launched into del Castillo’s affairs after she met the fugitive at his Sinaloa hideout in 2015, according to a Noticiero Univision report.
The actress, best known for her roles in Latin American telenovelas “Muchachitas” (“Girls”) and “La Reina del Sur” (“Queen of the South”), first made contact with El Chapo after posting a Twitter message supporting him in 2012.
“Today I believe more in El Chapo Guzman than I do in the governments that hide truths from me, even if they are painful, who hide the cures for cancer, aids, etc., for their own benefit,” del Castillo wrote.
The tweet eventually made its way back to Guzman, then on the run from Mexican authorities after breaking out of maximum-security prison for the second time. Direct text-message exchanges soon followed, leading ultimately to a secret rendezvous.
Del Castillo was accompanied by Hollywood actor Sean Penn, who went on to detail the experience in a 10,000-word piece published by Rolling Stone magazine just days before El Chapo was recaptured.
He was immediately extradited to the United States and is currently being held in a maximum-security jail in New York, awaiting trial on charges of drug trafficking and murder.
When news of the trio’s clandestine encounter broke, Mexican officials launched an investigation into del Castillo’s affairs over possible money laundering charges in connection with El Chapo, reported the LA Times.
The actress, who claims her career has suffered as a result, still had plans to make a movie about El Chapo. “I already risked my life for that, so I really do want to do it because I think it would be an amazing, fantastic story to tell,” she told the LA Times.
“It would be appealing for both countries and the world, just to know a little bit more. Where does this little boy from Badiraguato become the biggest drug lord, and who helps him and how?”
Asked what it is about that world that captivates audiences, del Castillo replied: “For Mexicans, it’s because we live that every single day. It's something that is not changing. It appeals to every part of the world because that's how far they get.
“Who helps them? Who are the real criminals? I'm not saying they're not. I'm just saying, who helps them? Both countries, both governments. Not until the people stop snoring, this is not going to end. There could be a thousand more Chapos. That's not going to end.”
The actress details her side of the story in the new Netflix docuseries “When I Met El Chapo,” which began airing October 20.