martes, 27 de abril de 2010

Treasury Designates Guatemalan Drug Lords Allied with the Sinaloa Cartel as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers

WASHINGTON – Due to his significant role in international narcotics trafficking and his ties to the Sinaloa Cartel the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated Waldemar Lorenzana Lima, one of Guatemala's most wanted drug traffickers, as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker (SDNT) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). OFAC also today designated as SDNTs Lorenzana Lima's three sons, Eliu Lorenzana Cordon, Haroldo Lorenzana Cordon, and Waldemar Lorenzana Cordon. President Obama identified the Sinaloa Cartel as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker under the Kingpin Act in April 2009. Today's action prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with the four designated individuals and freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

"Treasury will continue to target Mexican drug cartels wherever they are operating. Today's designation of Guatemalan drug traffickers from the Lorenzana family allied with the Sinaloa Cartel allows us to open another battlefront against Mexican transnational drug trafficking organizations," said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin.

The Lorenzanas play a key role in facilitating cocaine trafficking between Colombia and Mexico. Through their connections with Colombian sources of supply, they utilize their home country of Guatemala as a staging point for cocaine trans-shipments. Once the cocaine arrives in Guatemala, the Lorenzanas work with the Sinaloa Cartel to traffic cocaine into Mexico and, eventually, the United States. The U.S. government is currently offering rewards of up to $500,000 for information regarding Waldemar Lorenzana Lima and up to $200,000 for information regarding each of his three sons.

Today's action is the latest in a series of efforts by OFAC to thwart Mexico's drug cartels. The Sinaloa Cartel is responsible for distributing significant amounts of cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamines to the United States. It also bears responsibility for some of the unprecedented violence that is occurring in Mexico, particularly along the U.S.-Mexican border in cities including Ciudad Juarez.

Today's action, supported by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is part of OFAC's ongoing efforts under the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers worldwide. Internationally, OFAC has designated more than 600 businesses and individuals linked to 82 drug kingpins since June 2000. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines for criminal violation of the Kingpin Act pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code.

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