Mexico City: Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who had escaped from a maximum security prison in July last year, is back to where he belongs – behind bars. But how did that materialise?
Mobile text chats, published in a newspaper called Milenio on Wednesday, have revealed the entire story behind the capture of the drug kingpin and one of Mexico's most wanted.
The chats show Guzman was smitten by the "beautiful" Kate del Castillo; and the actress herself confessed about her "dream" to meet the drug lord.
The warm text exchanges took place before and after Guzman, Del Castillo and US actor Sean Penn met in a Mexican jungle in October, reports AFP.
The messages have laid bare the mysterious relationship between the druglord and Del Castillo, who arranged the meeting between Guzman and Penn. That meeting happened despite the the-fugitive knowing little about Penn.
The leaked text messages intercepted by Mexican authorities show Guzman and Del Castillo discussing meeting over tequila and champagne.
While Guzman promised Del Castillo he would "take care of you more than my own eyes"; the Mexican-American actress too expressed her "eagerness to see you eye-to-eye".
"I'll take care of you. You'll see when you come," Guzman, who was referred to as "Papa" in the messages, wrote on September 26 - just little over two months agp, he had escaped from the maximum-security prison.
"You're so beautiful, my friend, in every aspect," the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel leader told Del Castillo, famous for her role as a drug boss in the TV show "The Queen of the South".
Del Castillo, whose went by the name "Beauty" in the messages, replied: "I must confess that I feel protected for the first time. You'll know my story when we have time to speak, but for some reason I feel safe and I know you know who I am, not as an actress or public figure, but as a woman, as a person."
The actress, who has her own tequila brand, added: "I'll bring my tequila to share it with you, because it is a dream that I wanted to fulfill."
Guzman even told Del Castillo that his mother wanted to meet her – the druglord is married to a former beauty queen and has twin daughters with her and more children with other women.
Government officials have confirmed to AFP that the text messages are genuine.
Del Castillo, meanwhile, took to Twitter late Wednesday to clarify her position. The news of her meeting the druglord became public on Saturday.
"Not surprisingly, many have chosen to make up items they think will make good stories and that aren't truthful," she wrote. "I look forward to sharing my story with you."
Smitten drug lord
Penn, who wrote about the October 2 meeting with Guzman in a Rolling Stone article published on Saturday, said the kingpin wanted Del Castillo to help him make a biopic about himself.
On October 10, after they met, the actress wrote: "I don't sleep much since I saw you. I'm very excited about our story. ... It's all I think about."
Guzman, 58, replied: "I'm more excited about you than the story."
He wrote her again on October 23 to wish her happy birthday when she turned 43.
"What a nice birthday gift! Thank you! We will hug very soon," she wrote.
Officials said Tuesday that Guzman's "almost obsessive" desire to see Del Castillo again contributed to his recapture last Friday in Los Mochis, a seaside city in his northwestern home state of Sinaloa.
Guzman left his mountain hideout because troops were circling him, but his hope of seeing her again also led him to the city, the officials said on condition of anonymity. DVDs of her TV show were found in his hideout.
After six months on the lam, Guzman is back in the same prison he escaped from on July 11.
Who's Sean Penn?
The Mexican government said authorities were investigating the "actions" surrounding the October meeting, not the people directly.
But legal experts doubt that the actors could face charges, unless they accepted money from illegal proceeds from Guzman to make a film.
While Guzman agreed to meet with Penn, the world's most infamous criminal did not seem to know much about the Oscar-winning Hollywood actor.
In messages between Guzman and his attorney, who facilitated the phone exchanges with Del Castillo, the lawyer told the drug lord about the 2003 film "21 Grams."
The kingpin asked his attorney to repeat the actor's name twice and the title of Penn's most recent movie.
"I see Sean Penn on the internet here," wrote "Papa."
(With AFP inputs)