HomeNewsBriefUS Treasury Intensifies Pressure on Little-Known Mexico Cartel
BRIEF

US Treasury Intensifies Pressure on Little-Known Mexico Cartel

JALISCO CARTEL / 20 AUG 2015 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

For the second time this year, the US Treasury Department has targeted Mexican drug trafficking group Los Cuinis, placing a surprising amount of attention on this relatively unknown criminal organization.

On August 19, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added 15 Mexican businesses and 6 Mexican individuals to its “Kingpin" list. The designated entities and individuals allegedly provided financial support and services to Los Cuinis and its leader, Abigael Gonzalez Valencia.

John E. Smith, Acting Director of OFAC, said Los Cuinis "is one of the most powerful and violent drug cartels in Mexico" and that the designation "marks the first step in dismantling its significant business network.”

Included among the 15 businesses added to the list are a boutique hotel, two real estate firms, and two shopping centers. (See Treasury's chart below) The OFAC sanctions freeze any US assets of those listed and can sanction anyone who engages in transactions with them.

15-08-20-Mexico-Graph-Cuinis

InSight Crime Analysis

This latest Treasury designation shows the US government is clearly increasing pressure on Los Cuinis, and may be a precursor to more significant legal actions such as indictments. In April, OFAC designated Los Cuinis and Gonzalez Valencia to the Kingpin list alongside the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG) "for their significant roles in international narcotics trafficking.”

Despite the attention from US authorities, little public information exists about Los Cuinis, which, according to the Treasury, first arose in the 1990s as a faction of the Milenio Cartel. The Treasury also states Los Cuinis are close allies of the CJNG, which burst onto Mexico’s crime scene this year with a series of bold attacks on government forces

Both criminal groups have their origins in the Milenio Cartel, and Los Cuinis boss Gonzalez Valencia and CJNG leader Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias “El Mencho,” are allegedly brothers-in-law.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of the Jalisco Cartel

However, the exact relationship between the CJNG and Los Cuinis remains murky. There is speculation in the Mexican media that Los Cuinis’ leadership controls the CJNG. Notably, a recent report (pdf) by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) did not include Los Cuinis as one of the eight major drug trafficking groups currently operating in Mexico, despite the Treasury labeling them as one of the country's "most dangerous and violent drug cartels."

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EL CHAPO / 16 FEB 2016

If extradited to the United States, Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán appears likely to stand trial in…

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 13 APR 2016

The appearance of new and recycled armed groups whose motives are as questionable as their video-making credentials is the…

MEXICO / 19 FEB 2016

Perceptions of growing insecurity have driven demand for armored vehicles in Mexico, spurring an industry that caters to the safety…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…