WASHINGTON. - The U.S. Treasury Department has extended sanctions to seven family members of the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Sanctions targeted to drown this criminal organization financially through the freezing of assets.
This decision was announced this week to include the lieutenant and father in-law of "El Chapo" Guzman to be in this list, so that they can freeze their assets under U.S. jurisdiction, and prohibit any commercial or financial exchange between them. By doing this the Treasury Department has now increased the pressure against one of the key individuals for the delivery of drugs into this country.
The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control decided on Wednesday, in addition to freezing the assets of these individuals, they are also prohibiting all U.S. citizens from making any financial or commercial transactions with these individuals who are also suspected to be closely linked to Sinaloa cartel leader.
Damaso Lopez Nunez, aka "The Attorney", has been included in the sanctions list for his involvement to the operation that led to the escape of "El Chapo" from federal prison in 2001.
"Since then, he has become one of the top lieutenants of the Sinaloa cartel, responsible for shipping tons of narcotics from Mexico to the U.S.," said the Treasury Department in a statement.
Also included in the sanctions list is Ines Coronel Barreras, father of the third wife of "El Chapo" Guzman, for his cooperation in the drug trafficking networks of organized crime, described by Washington as a transnational organization of drug trafficking.
The Treasury is relying in this new set of sanctions, along with the cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Previously, Griselda Lopez, Maria Alejandrina Salazar, Ivan Archivaldo Guzman, Jesus Alfredo Guzman and Ovid were all included in this list.
The Director of OFAC, Adam J. Szubin, said that "through the work of our partners to enforce federal law, we will continue to pursue and block assets and any support structure for the Sinaloa cartel."
Since the year 2000, OFAC has included on its sanctions list more than 1,200 businesses and individuals linked to about 97 drug lords.
Americans who violate the mandate of these sanctions could be ordered to pay up to 5 million dollars and 10 million dollars for corporations in fines, and/or spend up to 30 years in prison.