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US adds Mexican musicians to blacklist for funding drug cartels

Mexico City, Mexico — The US Treasury Department has included numerous Mexican music promoters on their blacklist for who they say, help fund drug cartels.

Jesús Pérez Alvear, representative of singers such as Julión Álvarez and Gerardo Ortiz, have been included on the blacklist of the US Department of the Treasury for laundering money for the New Generation Jalisco Cartel through his concert organizer Gallistica Diamante.

According to the Treasury Department, Chucho Pérez works in favor of the criminal group and financed their opulent lifestyles by exploiting the Mexican music industry to launder money from the sale of drugs in Mexico and abroad.

In addition, the representative is linked to Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, better known as El Mencho, and Abigael Gonzalez Valencia who were both added to the blacklist of the Department of the Treasury in April 2015.

Last year, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control identified Mexican national Raul Flores Hernandez and the Flores Drug Trafficking Organization (Flores DTO) as Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).

From this, the Government of Mexico’s Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) seized diverse assets belonging to Raul Flores Hernandez and the Flores DTO, including the Grand Casino in the Guadalajara area.

“Raul Flores Hernandez has operated for decades because of his longstanding relationships with other drug cartels and his use of financial front persons to mask his investments of illegal drug proceeds,” said OFAC Director John E. Smith.

This most recent designation is part of a larger collaborative effort with Mexican government agencies, including the PGR and Mexico’s Finance Ministry’s Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera (UIF), to use financial sanctions, among other tools, to disrupt Mexican drug trafficking organizations.

“This major joint action reflects the U.S. government’s close cooperation with our law enforcement partners in Mexico to stop the illegal flow of narcotics and to target and expose drug kingpins and those who facilitate their illicit financial networks.”

OFAC also appointed Venezuelan-Italian fashion photographer Miguel José Leone Martínez, who helps run an international prostitution network associated with the Los Cuinis DTO, said Undersecretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker.

He added that the Treasury Department is identifying individuals who work on behalf of violent Mexican drug lords and support their opulent lifestyles by trafficking in lethal drugs to the United States.

“Our appointment of Jesús Pérez Alvear exposes his role in helping CJNG and Los Cuinis to exploit the Mexican music industry to launder the profits of drugs and glorify their criminal activities.

“We are pointing to the fashion photographer Miguel José Leone who runs an international prostitution network and who recruits models and participants in beauty contests from South America and Europe for prostitution for the main members of Los Cuinis,” he added.