Mexican prosecutors have formally asked actress Kate del Castillo to testify on her links with drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, authorities said today.
The US-Mexican star has come under scrutiny since it was revealed last week that she exchanged affectionate text messages with Guzman and brokered a meeting between the Sinaloa drug cartel honcho and US actor Sean Penn.
An official at the attorney general’s office said the request for Del Castillo to testify was sent over the weekend.
Since Del Castillo lives in Los Angeles, Attorney General Arely Gomez told El Universal newspaper the actress could give her testimony to investigators at the Mexican consulate in the California city.
Officials said last week that investigators wanted to speak to Penn and Del Castillo about their meeting with Guzman, but only the actress has been formally approached.
El Universal published today alleged text messages between Del Castillo and Guzman’s attorney, Andres Granados, in which they appeared to discuss the possibility of the drug lord investing in her tequila company, Honor Del Castillo.
A federal government official confirmed to AFP the authenticity of the text messages written in April and July, before Guzman escaped from prison on July 11.
Mexican law considers financial transactions with illegally-acquired funds as constituting money laundering. The US Treasury Department forbids US citizens and companies from conducting financial transactions with designated drug suspects.
Last week, another set of text messages that were leaked to the media showed that Guzman and Del Castillo exchanged warm messages between September and November last year.
Del Castillo, 43, who is famous for her role as a drug lord in the TV show “Queen of the South,” wrote on Twitter last week that the reports about her “aren’t truthful.”
Guzman, 58, was recaptured in a military raid on January 8 in Guzman’s northwestern home state of Sinaloa.
Authorities say the discovery of Guzman’s meeting with the actors in October, subsequent military operations in his mountain stronghold and the drug lord’s desire to see Del Castillo again contributed to his arrest.