Thursday, 11 October 2012

US slaps sanctions on Mexican entities linked to drug lord

People entangled with ropes, participate during a protest by the members of the Movement for the Peace with Justice and Dignity for the people "disappeared at the hands of the organized crime", in front of the headquarters of the Government Secretary, in Mexico City, capital of Mexico, on Oct. 10, 2012. (Xinhua/Pedro Mera)
WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government on Wednesday imposed sanctions on two Mexican entities allegedly linked to Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, the leader of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel.
The Department of Treasury blacklisted Socialika Rentas y Catering, S.A. de C.V., an event planning company registered in Cancun and owned by Moreno's daughter Brenda Guadalupe Esparragoza Moreno, and Urbanizadora Nueva Italia, S.A. de C.V., a real estate company located in Guadalajara and owned by Juvencio Ignacio Gonzalez Parada.
Both owners had been put on U.S. sanctions list for allegedly acting on behalf of the drug lord.
"Today's action serves as a reminder to Esparragoza Moreno that he and his organization remain in our sights," Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement.
"Numerous entities within the Mexican private sector have voluntarily severed ties with Esparragoza Moreno's corporate network, helping to significantly disrupt and isolate this organization. However, it should be noted that any company or individual that continues to act on behalf of or support this network could become the target of sanctions," he added.
As a result of the Treasury move, U.S. citizens are barred from doing business with the two designated Mexican companies, whose assets under U.S. jurisdiction are also frozen.
Esparragoza Moreno and the Sinaloa cartel were identified by U. S. presidents as significant foreign narcotics traffickers in 2003 and 2009, respectively. The former was also indicted on drug trafficking charges in a U.S. court in 2003.
The U.S. State Department is offering a reward of up to 5 million dollars for information leading to Esparragoza Moreno's arrest and conviction, while the Mexican authorities are offering 30 million pesos (2.35 million U.S. dollars) for information leading to his capture.
Esparragoza Moreno has been active in drug trafficking since the 1970s, and the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on nine entities and ten individuals allegedly linked to him in July.
Internationally, the Treasury has designated more than 1,100 businesses and individuals linked to 97 drug kingpins since June 2000.
Washington has been helping Mexico fight drug trafficking and other organized crimes over the past years. (Xinhua)

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