Ex-Miss Universe denies link to alleged drug capo

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado is denying reports that a suspected major drug trafficker fathered her daughter.

The Venezuelan beauty queen who was crowned Miss Universe in 1996 says in a statement issued Friday that the father of her child is a "respected businessman" — and not alleged capo Jose Gerardo Alvarez Vazquez.

Machado was responding to local media reports saying she was had a relationship with Alvarez Vazquez, who was arrested this week in a shootout Wednesday in the outskirts of Mexico City. She denies any link with him.

Authorities say he is responsible for increasing violence in a cartel turf battle in states near the capital. U.S. authorities hope to put him on trial there.