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Guatemala says no evidence Mexican drug kingpin killed

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Guatemala said Friday there was no evidence Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was killed near the Mexican border, but authorities were still scouring the area.

Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez, who had stated late Thursday that there was preliminary information that Mexico's most wanted man may have been killed in a clash between traffickers, said there was no proof that a shootout had taken place.

He said an air patrol was deployed early Friday to search Peten department, a jungle region bordering Mexico. Police and soldiers had searched the town of San Valentin late Thursday but their work was made difficult by the terrain and late hour.

"There is no evidence, no discovery that would allow us to say whether or not this event happened," Lopez told a news conference. "I apologize if there was a misunderstanding."

Authorities were waiting to get court authorization to search two ranches in the area.

The Sinaloa drug cartel leader has been in hiding since escaping from a Mexican maximum security prison in 2001. He had been captured in Guatemala in 1993.

His whereabouts have been the subject of widespread speculation, with some speculating that he is hiding in Guatemala again while others say he lives in the mountains of the northwestern Mexican state of Durango.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130222/guatemala-says-no-evidence-mexican-drug-kingpin-killed