HomeNewsBriefUS Treasury Continues Campaign Against the Sinaloa Cartel's 'El Azul'
BRIEF

US Treasury Continues Campaign Against the Sinaloa Cartel's 'El Azul'

EL AZUL / 13 DEC 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

The US Treasury has added one commercial entity and three individuals to the “Kingpin List” for their links to Sinaloa Cartel head Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, alias “El Azul,” part of a targeted campaign against his business network.

On December 12, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the addition of the three people charged with running El Azul's legal business ventures to the blacklist. It also placed a Sinaloa-based real estate company on the list. This freezes any assets the suspects have in the United States, and bars US citizens from doing business with them.

OFAC first began its campaign against El Azul’s network of associates in July, when it placed nine businesses and 10 people on its Kingpin List, including his ex-wife and various other family members (see the Treasury Department's diagram of the network).

InSight Crime Analysis

OFAC's pursuit of El Azul appears to be part of a wider strategy by US law enforcement aimed at isolating the Sinaloa Cartel's leadership. In April, Jesus “El Rey” Zambada Garcia, brother of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia and a top Sinaloa operator, was extradited to the US. Also in April, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation issued its latest indictment of the upper ranks of the Sinaloa Cartel, including Joaquin Guzman, alias “El Chapo.” The following month, the Treasury added two of El Chapo's sons to the Kingpin List. 

Despite these measures, Sinaloa Cartel leaders like El Chapo and El Azul have proven difficult to capture. Both saw close calls with law enforcement this year, but managed to stay one step ahead and avoid police raids.

Still, OFAC's efforts against El Azul's business networks are not without merit. The Sinaloa Cartel is known for its use of front companies in order to launder money, and have been proven able to move some of its illicit profits to banks in the United States.

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

MEXICO / 20 OCT 2011

Authorities in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, Mexico, announced that 980 state police have been dismissed in the last…

COCAINE / 18 JUN 2020

The recent arrests of two Guatemalan drug traffickers linked to Antonio “Tony” Hernández, a former Honduran congressman jailed for drug…

MEXICO / 6 MAY 2015

Psychoanalyst and anthropologist Elena Azaola is one of Mexico's foremost experts on prison issues and criminal justice. In…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…