The U.S. Treasury Department has named three people as drug traffickers with ties to Chapo Guzman, the Mexican drug lord, and banned Americans from having any dealings with them.

Chapo Guzman has found himself back in the headlines, following support offered to him by Kate del Castillo, a Mexican actress, who wrote on her Spanish-language Twitter account: Today I believe more in El Chapo Guzman than in the governments that hide the truth from me even though it is painful.

According to the Treasury Department, two of three identified people are Mexicans - Oscar Alvarez Zepeda and Joel Valdez Benites. The third is a Colombian national, Carlos Mario Torres Hoyos.

It has also been reported that the Mexican government has set up three elite teams - from the Navy, the Army and the federal police - dedicated to capturing Guzman, dead or alive. The U.S. State Department has offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to his arrest.

Guzman was jailed in 1993 but escaped from the maximum-security prison, in a laundry basket, eight years later. He heads the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico, often described as the most powerful drug trafficking organisation in the Western hemisphere. He is believed to reside in the isolated mountainous regions of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua states, with an army of hired killers to protect him as well as an extensive network of informants.