The Drug Wars
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|Jim Kouri||May 9th 2012|
The United States Department of Treasury added four members of a notorious and deadly Mexican drug cartel to its sanctions list on Tuesday. The Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control ( OFAC) branded Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, including two sons of the group's drug lord Joaquin " Chapo" Guzman Loera, as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers, a move that bars U.S. citizens from doing business with them and freezes their assets under U.S. jurisdiction.
The men are identified as Loera's sons Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, Noel Salgueiro Nevarez and Ovidio Limon Sanchez, who, according to the Treasury, are four key operatives of Sinaloa. Salazar was arrested in 2005 by Mexican authorities on money laundering charges but was later released, while Lopez plays a " significant" role in his father's drug trafficking activities, the Treasury said in a statement.
It said Nevarez is the cartel's head in the Mexican state of Chihuahua where a bloody turf war has claimed thousands of lives. He was arrested in October 2011 and remains in custody, according to the Treasury Department. Sanchez is a major operative for the cartel in Mexico's Sinaloa state. He was arrested in November 2011 and still remains in custody. A jury for the Central District of California returned an indictment against him in 2009, charging him with multiple counts of drug trafficking, the Treasury said. Loera and his Sinaloa cartel were identified by President Barack Obama as significant foreign narcotics traffickers and the group's operatives have been targeted frequently for sanctions.
"OFAC will aggressively target those individuals who facilitate Chapo Guzman's drug trafficking operations, including family members," said U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Adam Szubin. "With the government of Mexico, we are firm in our resolve to dismantle Chapo Guzman's drug trafficking organization," he said in a statement. The OFAC has designated more than 1,000 businesses and individuals linked to 94 drug kingpins since June 2000.
Jim Kouri writes for the Examiner, from which this article is adapted.