Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman told Rolling Stone magazine that he doesn't feel responsible for the high level of drug addiction.
"Because the day I don't exist, it's not going to decrease in any way at all," the drug lord told the magazine in a video interview.
Guzman, the reputed leader of the Sinaloa cartel, was once described by the U.S. Treasury as "the most powerful drug trafficker in the world." The Sinaloa cartel allegedly uses elaborate tunnels for drug trafficking and has been estimated to be responsible for 25 percent of all illegal drugs that enter the U.S. through Mexico, according to Forbes.
Guzman was recaptured Friday after six months at-large following his escape from a Mexican prison. According to Sean Penn's article in Rolling Stone, the video was delivered to Penn via intermediaries, including a courier for El Chapo.
Here's what else we learned about "El Chapo" from the revealing interview, conducted in Spanish and translated by Rolling Stone:
He's Not a Drug Addict
"Many years ago. Yes, I did try them," he said. "But an addict? No."
"I haven't done any drugs in the last twenty years," Guzman said.
His Take on the Drug Business
"It's a reality that drugs destroy," Guzman told Rolling Stone. "Unfortunately, as I said, where I grew up there was no other way and there still isn't a way to survive. No other way to work in our economy to be able to make a living."
Guzman has been ranked among the richest men in the world by Forbes. Drug enforcement experts have conservatively estimated the cartel's revenues at more than $3 billion annually.
When asked if his drug business expanded during his time in jail, Guzman said, "From what I can tell, and I know, everything is the same. Nothing has decreased. Nothing has increased."
He said of the relationship between drug production, sale and consumption: "If there was no consumption, there would be no sales. It is true that consumption, day after day, becomes bigger and bigger, so it sells and sells."
Guzman was also asked if he has done anything to persuade the public to consume more drugs. He responded, "Not at all. That attracts attention."
According to Guzman, it's curiosity that fuels drug consumption.
"People, in a way, want to know how it feels or how it tastes," he said. "And then the addiction gets bigger."
He Doesn't Consider Himself to Be Violent
"All I do is defend myself. Nothing more," he said. "But do I start looking for trouble? Never."
Guzman described his relationship with his mother as "perfect."
"There's a lots of respect, affection and love."
He also said his children "get along well."
"The family is tight," he added.
Guzman said he never thought of "hurting anyone" when he escaped from a Mexican prison in July.
"All I did was ask God, and things worked out. Everything was perfect. I'm here, thank God," he said. "For both escapes, it's worth mentioning there was no violence."
Guzman escaped from the Altiplano prison near Mexico City in July 2015, launching an international manhunt. Guzman had been sent to Altiplano when he was arrested in February 2014, after he spent more than 10 years on the run after escaping from a different prison in 2001.
How He Would Define Himself
"I would say it's a person who's not looking for problems in any way," he said. "In any way."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.