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Mexico says drug boss Guzman narrowly evades capture, sustains injuries

'El Chapo', the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, escaped from his high-security prison cell in July through a specially dug tunnel

By Gabriel Stargardter and Tomas Sarmiento

The world’s most-wanted drug boss, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, narrowly evaded security forces searching for him in the northwest of Mexico in recent days, sustaining injuries to his face and leg, the Mexican government said.

Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, escaped from his high-security prison cell in July through a specially dug tunnel, causing a major embarrassment for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

In a statement, the Mexican government said it had worked with international agencies to capture Guzman, and that in recent weeks, efforts had been focused on the northwest of the country, not far from Guzman’s native turf of Sinaloa state.

“As a result of these actions, and to avoid his capture, in recent days, the fugitive engaged in a hasty retreat, which, according to the information received, caused him injuries to one leg and the face,” the government statement said.

“It’s important to clarify that these injuries were not a product of a direct clash,” the statement added, without giving further information.

In August, the acting head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said the U.S. government believed Guzman was still in Mexico.

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