Rafael Márquez among individuals linked by Treasury Department to drug kingpin Raúl Flores Hernández of the two main Mexican drug cartels, the Sinaloa Cartel and the New Generation Jalisco Cartel.
The sanctions are a blow to the image of Mexican soccer. It is also a sign of how deeply drug-trafficking has permeated Mexico’s civil society, from politics to culture and sports, analysts say. Mexican singer Julio César Alvarez, known as Julión, was also sanctioned Wednesday for acting as a frontman of Mr. Flores.
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The sanctions freeze all U.S. assets of the people and entities named and forbid U.S. citizens from doing business with them. It also strips Mr. Marquez, 38, of his U.S. visa, meaning he can no longer travel to the U.S. to play games with the Mexican national soccer team. The sanctions don’t necessarily imply criminal prosecution.
In the largest Kingpin Act action so far, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned a total of nine firms and 21 people for ties to alleged trafficker Raúl Flores Hernández and his organization.