Mexico is offering $3.8 million for information leading to the capture of escaped drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

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Paramedic said an accident victim taken to a hospital matched the description of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman

That tip prompted a frantic manhunt by police and soldiers last week in Macuspana, Tabasco state

Newspaper publisher: Huge rewards offered for Guzman tips "can lead to confusion and false alarms"

CNN  — 

Mexicans soldiers rushed to the hospital and quickly established a perimeter with their weapons drawn.

According to witnesses, they arrived at the scene in two military pickup trucks. One reporter counted 14 soldiers. The Mexican federal police quickly followed them in what was reported as “an unusual operation.”

What was behind all this commotion at the General Hospital in Macuspana last week? A tip by a paramedic who said an accident victim taken there matched the description of Mexico’s most wanted man: Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman.

By the time soldiers and federal police got to the hospital, the man had already left. Soldiers and police began a frantic manhunt.

It didn’t last long. The director of the hospital later provided reporters with the real identity of the accident victim. It was not El Chapo.

Héctor Tapia, publisher of the daily newspaper Tabasco Hoy in Villahermosa, the capital of Tabasco state, says Macuspana was rattled by the news. A military base near the city provides security for a natural gas refinery, but people rarely see an operation like the one that went down last Wednesday.

Online, the attention the news generated for Tabasco Hoy was unprecedented. “We first posted a short news bulletin which quickly grew into the most-read story on the website,” Tapia said. “In just a few minutes we counted 50,000 unique readers and we had twice as many clicks.”

It’s not the first reported sighting of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord since July 11, when he stepped into a shower and slipped into a tunnel to escape from the maximum-security Altiplano Federal Prison.

On August 31, Jesús Alfredo Guzman, El Chapo’s son, tweeted a picture in which the 29-year-old is at a table, flanked by two unidentified men whose faces are obscured by emoticons. The lower half of the face of a mustachioed man to the younger Guzman’s right, however, is revealed, and it resembles the kingpin. The son wrote, “Satisfied here, you already know with whom.”

The tweet’s location shows Costa Rica. What’s unclear is whether the location tag was inadvertently left on, meant to misdirect authorities or intended to mock them. It’s also unclear whether this Costa Rica is the Central American country or a town in Mexico.

“We’re aware of the picture that has surfaced, but we believe the Costa Rica they’re talking about is not in our country but a town in Mexico,” Marco Monge, a spokesman for Costa Rica’s Office of Judicial Investigation, told CNN.

“There are no current investigations or operations targeting Mr. Guzman in Costa Rica.”

The town of Costa Rica, in Sinaloa state, is a 20-plus-hour drive from Macuspana.

El Chapo sightings in Mexico, both this time and the last time he escaped from prison in 2001, have the notoriety of a UFO report: Many people are obsessed with them, but nobody can confirm them.

After this last sighting, a spokesperson for the Mexican Attorney General’s Office, who asked not to be identified, told CNN, “We can neither deny nor confirm the reports of El Chapo sighting in the state of Tabasco. We don’t have any information to report at this time.”

Tapia, the newspaper publisher, said this level of attention has much to do with the huge bounties that both the United States ($5 million) and Mexico ($3.8 million) are offering for information leading to Guzman’s capture.

“I believe that these rewards are what make people to always be on the alert,” Tapia said. “But this can lead to confusion and false alarms. Having said that, we can’t rule out that the Mexican southeast and Tabasco in particular, because of its border with Guatemala, could be an ideal place to find refuge or to flee Mexico.”