el chapo mexico sean penn prison
Soldiers patrol the perimeter of the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary, where drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is imprisoned in Almoloya de Juarez, on the outskirts of Mexico City REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Actress Kate del Castilo has been subpoenaed in relation to the Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, who was re-arrested in his hometown after being interviewed by Hollywood star Sean Penn. Mexican-American Castilo will be able to testify at the Mexican consulate in Los Angeles where she currently lives and works.

Mexican Attorney General's office spokeswoman Arely Gomez said her office was investigating to see if laws had been broken by Castilo in relation to the interview by Penn in Mexico. Castilo has admitted to being in contact with El Chapo for several years and was credited by Penn for arranging the interview which may have led Mexican police to the gang lord's lair in Sinaloa, north west Mexico on 8 January.

El Chapo, who runs the notorious Sinaloa Cartel, escaped after a mile-long tunnel was dug from the Altiplani Jail near Mexico City. The day after his recapture Rolling Stone published the interview conducted by Penn, the actor and director, last October.

Following the drug lord's arrest it emerged that he and Castilo - best known for her portrayal of a drug lord herself in "The Queen of the South" - had had conversations by text, details of which were published in the Mexican press. Castilo tweeted: "Thank you for your support over the past few days. Not surprisingly, many have chosen to make up items they think will make good stories and that aren't truthful. I look forward to sharing my story with you." The actress has not yet responded to news of her subpoena.

Penn, who is perhaps as well known for his political activities as he is for his films, has spoken of his regret that his 10,000 word interview with El Chapo may have been overshadowed by the arrest. However he insisted the two weren't linked.

"There is this myth about the visit my colleagues and I made to El Chapo, that it was – as the attorney general of Mexico is quoted – 'essential' to his capture," Penn told TV host Charlie Rose. "We had met with him many weeks earlier ... on 2 October, in a place nowhere near where he was captured."