Interpol joins hunt for Mexican drug lord sought by U.S

MEXICO CITY Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:13pm EST

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The search for a Mexican drug lord wanted for the murder of a U.S. federal agent expanded on Monday when Interpol issued a wanted persons alert for Rafael Caro Quintero, who disappeared in August.

The international police agency has no new information on his whereabouts but said in a release they believe he may be hiding in Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela or the Caribbean.

The 61-year-old former leader of the Guadalajara cartel had served 28 years of a 40-year sentence for the 1985 slaying of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena.

The agent was kidnapped, tortured and killed after a number of successful drug busts in Mexico and his murder spurred one of the largest DEA investigations ever undertaken.

Caro Quintero was freed from the Puente Grande prison in the western Mexican state of Jalisco on August 9 after a Mexican court ruled he should have been tried at state level rather than on federal charges.

His early release angered the U.S. government and the DEA said it was "deeply troubled." Three months later in November the Mexican Supreme Court overturned the lower court's decision and prosecutors issued a warrant for the drug lord's arrest.

The U.S. State Department is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to Caro Quintero's capture.

(Writing by Lomi Kriel; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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