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Mexican actress ordered to answer questions on "El Chapo"

MEXICO CITY -- After Mexican authorities ordered that actress Kate del Castillo be located and presented for questioning about her encounters with cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, an attorney for Kate del Castillo said the actress is willing to talk.

"In the course of the investigation they are going to talk to her, right?" Harland Braun, her U.S. lawyer, told The Associated Press. "If we receive proper information and credentials, she'll talk to them. She's not hiding anything." "There's no problem locating her. ... Everyone knows she has lawyers, publicists, agents," Braun added.

Earlier in the day, two Mexican security officials said federal prosecutors had issued the search order because the movie and telenovela star did not voluntarily appear before authorities to give a statement as requested. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, from his video interview published by Rolling Stone magazine. KATE DEL CASTILLO/ROLLING STONE

The officials said that the order applies only to Mexican territory. They added that if del Castillo were found to be in Mexico, she would be detained to make a statement as a witness and then released after doing so.

Braun said del Castillo, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was currently in Los Angeles, where she has lived for years, and feeling "a bit disappointed."

On Wednesday, an official of the federal judiciary council confirmed del Castillo had filed a court petition seeking an injunction against any arrest related to Mexico's investigation of her relationship with Guzman, who is believed to be responsible for the deaths of more than 34,000 people.

In mid-January she tweeted that many people were making things up and that she looked forward to telling her side of the story.

Del Castillo, who has not been accused of any crime, is facing accusations that she took money from Guzman to fund a tequila business, Honor del Castillo, which Penn wrote he drank while travelling to meet Guzman.

"El Chapo" in custody, again

The actress was thrust into the international spotlight earlier this month, after it was revealed that she introduced actor Sean Penn to famed drug trafficker.

Mexican authorities say the October meeting between Guzman, del Castillo and Penn in the mountains of northwestern Mexico helped them locate the cartel leader, though he escaped arrest on that occasion.

The encounter was described by the actor in a Rolling Stone article published Jan. 9, a day after Guzman was captured in a raid in the city of Los Mochis. Mexican officials have not sought to question Penn.

The Mexican newspaper Milenio later published a series of text messages between del Castillo and "El Chapo" in which the drug lord showed more interest in the actress than in Penn. The two had planned to meet again.

A federal official confirmed the messages were authentic.

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