Mexico police search hotels, hospitals for drug lord

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Mexican authorities are searching hotels, hospitals and funeral homes while distributing 100,000 leaflets with recent pictures of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in a massive manhunt for the fugitive drug lord, officials said Wednesday, July 15.

The interior ministry said 101 checkpoints have been placed on the main roads and highways of 21 of the country's 31 states and the capital to find Guzman, who fled prison on Saturday, July 11.

Some 1,250 federal police officers have fanned out in special search units around the Altiplano prison from where he escaped, some 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of Mexico City.

In addition, more than 180 special forces from the police gendarmerie are conducting their own search for the Sinaloa drug cartel kingpin.

Some 8,200 federal police officers are on "maximum alert" in every state, the interior ministry said in a statement.

"More than 100,000 leaflets with recent pictures of the fugitive are being distributed at toll booths," it said.

"Special operations are being conducted to check hotels, hospitals and funeral homes."

Every private flight is being checked at the nation's airports, with a "rigorous inspection of passengers."

In his second escape in 14 years, Guzman broke out of prison through a 1.5-kilometer (one-mile) tunnel that was dug under his cell's shower, a jailbreak that humiliated President Enrique Peña Nieto just 17 months after the kingpin's capture. –