MONTEVIDEO – Authorities have not detected “any signs” that Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, the subject of a Red Notice issued by Interpol in July, is in Uruguay, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday.
“We don’t have anything. We just have the same regional and international notice issued by Interpol some time ago. But there’s no indication that he might have been here or anything else. The alert exists, but it is the alert issued at the time,” an Interior Ministry spokesman told EFE.
Reports in recent days said the Sinaloa drug cartel’s leader was in the Argentina-Chile border region, but officials in both countries said the information was not accurate.
Since Guzman’s escape from prison in July, there has been much speculation about his whereabouts.
A rumor circulated that he might be in the Uruguayan coastal resort of Punta del Este, but “nothing was verified in that sense,” the official said.
Uruguay is taking the normal precautions for handling this kind of international notice, officials said.
The ministry official called on the public to pass along any relevant information to law enforcement agencies and not to the media considering how dangerous Guzman is.
“It is safer to call the Interior Ministry than the press,” an official said.
In July, Uruguayan courts reopened a case put on hold in 2014 to determine if the Sinaloa cartel owns a rural property in the South American country.
Guzman escaped from the Altiplano I federal prison in central Mexico through a 1.5-kilometer (nearly one-mile) tunnel on July 11.
More than 30 people, including prison officials, have been arrested in Mexico in connection with Guzman’s escape.
Guzman is the subject of a $5 million reward in the United States and has a price of 60 million pesos ($3.8 million) on his head in Mexico.
The drug lord had been held at the Altiplano I prison in Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area, since his arrest on Feb. 22, 2014.
Guzman faces drug, money laundering and criminal conspiracy charges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego.