WASHINGTON — The U.S. government on Wednesday announced a $5 million reward for information leading to the recapture of one of the world’s most wanted drug kingpins, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman of Mexico.
The reward is being offered by the State Department. The Drug Enforcement Administration has set up a tip line for information about Guzman, who escaped from one of Mexico’s most secure prisons last month through a sophisticated mile-long tunnel that opened up in his cell’s shower. The tip line is being managed by the DEA’s San Diego field office.
The acting head of the DEA, Chuck Rosenberg, said he thinks Guzman is in Mexico, probably hiding in his home state of Sinaloa, Mexico. But Rosenberg acknowledged that the elusive Guzman could be anywhere.
“I think he is still in Mexico,” Rosenberg said in a meeting with reporters. “Do I know that? No. It’s an educated guess.”
Guzman has twice been captured and twice escaped. He was first jailed after being extradited from Guatemala in 1993 and escaped from a maximum security prison in 2001. Thirteen years later he was arrested again in the seaside resort town of Mazatlan and escaped again about 16 months later.
Mexican authorities have announced a $3.8 million reward for Guzman, who is believed to have a net worth of about $1 billion.
Rosenberg said the DEA and U.S. authorities continue to work with their Mexican counterparts on the search for Guzman.
ALICIA A. CALDWELL, Associated Press