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Guatemala probes if drug lord killed in shootout

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February 21, 2013 11:53 PM EST | AP

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GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemalan authorities said they are investigating whether a man killed Thursday in a shootout near the border with Mexico is most-wanted drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Government spokesman Francisco Cuevas said two drug gangs clashed in Peten, an area that has seen an increase in drug violence. At least two men died in the shootout, he said.

"We have to wait for all the technical information in order to determine if, in fact, one of the dead is of Joaquin `El Chapo' Guzman," Cuevas told Guatevision Television.

He didn't say what led officials to think that one of the dead men might be Guzman.

But Interior Department spokeswoman Carla Herrera told The Associated Press that one of the victims physically resembled the drug lord. She said officials had asked the Mexican government to send Guzman's fingerprints to compare them to the man found inside a vehicle and to send investigators.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said late Thursday that he had no information on the case.

"I don't have any information that can confirm that," he told reporters.

Peten province is an isolated area of jungle and ranches where 27 ranch workers were massacred in 2011 by the Zetas drug gang, a top rival for Guzman's Sinaloa drug cartel.

Guzman, who has been in hiding since escaping from a Mexican prison in a laundry cart in 2001, is one of the world's most dangerous and most wanted fugitives.

He's also one of the richest: Forbes magazine has estimated his fortune at $1 billion.