Hollywood actor Sean Penn could face being investigated for interviewing Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in his jungle hideout after the infamous Mexican drug lord broke out of a high-security prison.

The Sinaloa Cartel boss escaped from the maximum-security Altiplano jail in July 2015 and went into hiding. After Guzman's recapture on 8 January, an unnamed Mexican official told Associated Press the secret meeting with Penn helped lead them to the drugs kingpin.

Mexican attorney general Arely Gomez previously said an important aspect in Guzman's recapture "was discovering Guzman's intention to have a biographic film made". He added: "He contacted actresses and producers, which was part of one line of investigation."

Sean Penn during a news conference after a meeting with Uruguay's President Mujica at the presidential house in Montevideo
Sean Penn could face investigation for interviewing El Chapo Reuters

A source quoted by Reuters said Penn and actress Kate del Castillo, who starred in La Reina del Sur, a Mexican television drama about drugs cartels, could face investigation for their contact with Guzman, possibly for money laundering.

Penn's interview with the drugs kingpin, which was conducted in October 2015, was published on the website of Rolling Stone magazine on 9 January. It was arranged by Del Castillo and took place in a remote part of Durango state, which borders Sinaloa, Guzman's cartel's centre of operations.

In the interview, Penn describes the elaborate security measures taken to evade detection while travelling to meet Guzman, including a journey in a plane with equipment designed to evade radar detection.

In the piece, Guzman discussed drugs trafficking, saying: "If there was no consumption, there would be no sales.'' He rejects responsibility for drugs addiction, claiming "the day I don't exist, it's not going to decrease in any way at all".

Weeks after the interview, Guzman narrowly evaded recapture in rural Durango, with authorities claiming they decided not to open fire on him as he was with two women and a child. However, the drug lord was arrested in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, after a shootout with Mexican marines in which five people were killed.

Mexican authorities said they will begin the process of extraditing Guzman to the US. Prior to his escape in 2015 through a secret tunnel, Mexican authorities turned down extradition requests from the US. Guzman also escaped incarceration in 2001, reportedly hiding in a laundry basket.