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Mexican star Kate del Castillo shocks with praise for drug lord

January 12, 2012 |  1:45 pm

Photo: Mexican actress Kate del Castillo poses in a photo last year in Beverly Hills, as her hit show "La Reina del Sur" was winding down. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times
REPORTING FROM MEXICO CITY -- She played a major drug trafficker in a hit TV series. And now popular Mexican actress Kate del Castillo has sympathetic words for a real one.

In a provocative letter that has unleashed shockwaves across Mexican radio talk shows and social media, Del Castillo said this week that she regarded billionaire drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman more credible than "governments that hide truths from me, even when they are painful ones." 

"Senor, Chapo," she continues. "Wouldn't it be really cool if you started trafficking for the good?" She goes on to suggest the fugitive capo of the Sinaloa cartel could spread cures for disease and food for street children. "Traffic with corrupt politicians, not women and children who end up as slaves," she says. "Go for it, sir. You would be the hero of heroes."

The missive would be easy to dismiss if it weren't for Del Castillo's fame, both here and in the U.S. She starred as a drug boss in "La Reina del Sur" (The Queen of the South), a Telemundo production whose finale in the U.S. last year was a Spanish-language television record-breaker. She also starred in a recurring role in the quirky American series "Weeds," and recently did a guest turn on "CSI: Miami," as a Mexican police chief.

The full letter, in Spanish, can be seen here.

"What was she thinking? ... I don't know," Javier Poza, a radio host, said after reading the text on the air (link in Spanish). His was one of dozens of chat shows consumed by speculation over the actress' motives and meanings.

"Was that Kate talking, or Teresa Mendoza," read one of the many social network comments, alluding to the title trafficker in "Queen of the South." 

Del Castillo's letter came on the same day the U.S. Treasury Department, in adding three Guzman associates to its "kingpin" blacklist, called the fugitive capo "the world's most powerful drug trafficker."

ALSO:

Dirty Money: A series on drug gangs and money laundering

Wife of fugitive Mexican drug lord gives birth in L.A. County

Suspicion in Mexico's Sinaloa cartel

-- Tracy Wilkinson

Photo: Mexican actress Kate del Castillo poses in a photo last year in Beverly Hills, as her hit show "La Reina del Sur" was winding down. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

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