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US Treasury Sanctions Violent CJNG Members and Cartel Facilitator

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“Socalj” for Borderland Beat

Note: Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) froze several bank accounts tied to these individuals and entities last week, as reported by Borderland Beat.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Carlos Andres Rivera Varela and Francisco Javier Gudino Haro, who are violent members of the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG). These two individuals have allegedly helped orchestrate assassinations using high-powered weaponry on behalf of CJNG, a Mexico-based organization that is responsible for trafficking a significant proportion of the fentanyl and other deadly drugs that enter the United States.

Also today, OFAC designated travel agent Alejandro Chacon Miranda, who facilitates travel that is often related to illicit activities for senior CJNG members and their allies. Additionally, OFAC designated two businesses located in Mexico. Today’s action is the result of OFAC’s ongoing collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), including the Los Angeles Field Division, and is part of a larger effort to disrupt CJNG by coordinating with multiple U.S. government partners, such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

“Today’s action is a reminder that Treasury will continue to sanction those providing support to CJNG, whether that person is a violent actor or a complicit businessperson,” said OFAC Director Andrea M. Gacki. “CJNG is a major contributor to the illicit drugs, including fentanyl, flooding the United States. Treasury will continue working with its partner U.S. government agencies to disrupt and dismantle this cartel.”

ATF Associate Deputy Director Marvin G. Richardson commented, “ATF continues to work with all our partners in Mexico and the United States to combat the firearm-related violence that surrounds the illegal drug trade. The cooperation among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and the government of Mexico is the foundation for combating cross-border firearms trafficking by organized criminal groups. ATF remains committed to our strategy of working in conjunction with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to deny the ‘tools of the trade’ to the firearms trafficking infrastructure of criminal organizations operating in Mexico and along the border.”

“CJNG has a significant footprint in the United States and is responsible for the distribution of the majority of lethal drugs that we see in our communities,” said DEA Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner. “The actions taken exemplify our unyielding commitment to destroy criminal organizations that jeopardize public safety.”

Today’s action targets persons based in the Mexican state of Jalisco who are affiliated with CJNG and its senior members, including Gonzalo Mendoza Gaytan (a.k.a. “El Sapo”). On May 17, 2019, OFAC designated Mendoza Gaytan, who has been the CJNG plaza boss for Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico and who is responsible for significant violence.

Among the persons designated today are Carlos Andres Rivera Varela (a.k.a. “La Firma”), a dual Colombian-Mexican national, and Francisco Javier Gudino Haro (a.k.a. “La Gallina”), a Mexican national, who lead a CJNG enforcement group based in Puerto Vallarta. They were designated because they are foreign persons materially assisting in, or providing financial or technological support for or to, or providing goods or services in support of, CJNG.

This group conducts violent attacks against rivals and government officials that ultimately benefit CJNG’s territorial control and drug trafficking activities. For example, this group is allegedly responsible for the attempted assassination, using high-powered weaponry, of Mexico City’s Secretary for Public Security in Mexico City on June 26, 2020.

The same group was also allegedly behind the assassination of the former Jalisco Governor in Puerto Vallarta on December 18, 2020. Rivera Varela, who is originally from Cali, Colombia, has resided in Mexico for many years. Gudino Haro, a native of Jalisco, owns or controls the Puerto Vallarta-registered agricultural company Agricola Costa Alegre S.P.R. de R.L., which was also designated today.

The other person designated today was Mexican travel agent Alejandro Chacon Miranda, who has links to Mendoza Gaytan. Chacon Miranda was designated because he is a foreign person materially assisting in, or providing financial or technological support for or to, or providing goods or services in support of, CJNG. Chacon Miranda arranges travel for CJNG members and their allies, including trips that facilitate the movement of money and drugs. Chacon Miranda owns Dale Tours, a Guadalajara-area travel agency that was also designated today, and uses it to provide services to CJNG.

SourceUS Treasury


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