US offers help in hunt for escaped Mexican drug lord

Soldiers check a house allegedly at the end of the tunnel through which Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman could have escaped from the Altiplano prison, in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico on July 12, 2015 (AFP Photo/Yuri Cortez)

Washington (AFP) - The United States is ready to help Mexican authorities in their hunt for escaped drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Sunday.

Guzman escaped down an elaborate, 1.5-kilometer (one-mile) tunnel Saturday, marking his second jail break and an embarrassing blow to the Mexican government.

"We share the government of Mexico's concern regarding the escape," Lynch said in a statement.

"The US government stands ready to work with our Mexican partners to provide any assistance that may help support his swift recapture."

A massive manhunt was launched after Guzman vanished from the Altiplano maximum-security prison, some 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of Mexico City.

The Sinaloa cartel kingpin, whose empire stretches around the globe, had first escaped in 2001. He was re-arrested in February last year and had been back in prison for 17 months.

"In addition to his crimes in Mexico, he faces multiple drug trafficking and organized crime charges in the United States," Lynch said.

In the United States, two convicted murderers escaped from a high-security prison in New York state last month.

After a three-week manhunt, the men were eventually found near the Canadian border. Police shot and killed one of them. His co-escapee was shot and taken alive two days later.