Cruz, Hayek spent nights at Mexican drug trafficker’s house

June 12th, 2008 - 12:24 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, June 11 (IANS) Top Hollywood actresses Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek have allegedly spent several nights at the ranch of a Mexican drug trafficker while shooting for a movie in 2004, EFE news agency reported Wednesday, citing a Mexican daily. The leading ladies of Hollywood reportedly stayed at a ranch owned by Sergio Villarreal Barragan in the northern state of Durango while shooting for the movie “Bandidas” in 2004, Mexico’s El Universal newspaper reported Tuesday.

The 38-year-old Villarreal is a drug mafia don who operates in Durango, Coahuila and Sinaloa, the daily said, citing documents from the Mexican Attorney General’s Office, known as the PGR.

The newspaper said the ranch was hired during the shooting of the film to accommodate both actresses. However, the paper did not say whether the actresses knew the identity of the owner of the property.

The newspaper said the reporters in Durango who covered the filming of “Bandidas” asserted that Hayek always travelled with bodyguards in a motorcade of SUVs.

But Penelope Cruz maintained a lower and less flashy profile during the filming, the newspaper said.

The reporters said Hayek had several parties at the ranch.

Villarreal, according to the newspaper, is a member of the criminal organisation run by the Beltran Leyva brothers, former partners in the Sinaloa drug cartel of fugitive Capo Joaquin and now allies of Los Zetas, army veterans and deserters working as hired guns for the Gulf cartel.

He was accused of smuggling cocaine to the US and killing several law enforcement agency officials.

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