USA sanction Rafael Marquez over connection to Mexican drug lord

11 August, 2017, 00:14 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Reuters

The sanctions are the result of a multi-year investigation of the drug trafficking organisation allegedly headed by Raul Flores Hernandez, the department said in a statement. The Treasury also designated 42 Mexican entities as providing support for Flores Hernandez's organization, including a soccer team, Club Deportivo Morumbi.

Although he operates independently, Raul Flores Hernandez maintains strategic alliances with the leadership of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel and the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación.

The US Treasury Department said in a statement that Marquez, together with Mexican singer Julio Cesar Alvarez, "have longstanding relationships with Flores Hernandez, and have acted as front persons for him and his DTO [drug trafficking organization] and held assets on their behalf". The sanction freezes their USA assets and forbids US citizens from doing business with them.

Alvarez, who goes by the stage name Julion Alvarez is a Latin Grammy-nominated singer known for filling up Mexican stadiums.

The 38-year-old, who now plays for Mexican side Atlas in Guadalajara, missed training on Wednesday after being sanctioned and gave a statement to the Mexican attorney general's office. In March 2017, federal drug trafficking indictments were returned in the District of Columbia and the Southern District of California against Flores Hernandez.

Marquez gave a statement to Mexican authorities on Wednesday and denied the charges in a press conference on Wednesday night.


Marquez denied any involvement with Flores Hernandez.

Márquez, 38, has represented Mexico in four World Cups and has won more than 150 worldwide caps.

During his club career, he won two Champions League trophies and four league titles while playing for Barcelona.

Marquez, 38, is a former star defender for Spanish giants FC Barcelona. In 2011, Marquez turned heads when he bought a $6 million apartment in New York City.

Marquez's soccer academy and health and rehabilitation clinics were among the sanctioned organizations, according to Reuters. He has played in four FIFA World Cups and is vying to become just the third player to play in five.

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