Mexico Footballer Accused Of Cartel Link

Marsha Scott
August 11, 2017

Flores Hernandez allegedly operated independently in the northern city of Guadalajara but maintained alliances with the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels.

The Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act passed in 1999 grants the department the power to freeze the assets of foreign nationals believed to be involved in global drug trafficking.

All of the sanctioned individuals and entities' assets subject to United States jurisdiction will be frozen and United States persons are generally prohibited from doing business with them.

In addition to the 22 people, 43 entities - including a soccer team - will be sanctioned.

Marquez is a former Barcelona and New York Red Bulls defender who now plays for the Mexican soccer club Atlas in Guadalajara and is captain of the Mexican national team. In addition to Flores and the Flores DTO, OFAC also designated 21 Mexican nationals and 42 entities in Mexico for providing support to the narcotics trafficking activities of Raul Flores Hernandez and the Flores DTO and/or for being owned or controlled by the Flores DTO, its members, and trusted associates.

They include a professional football player, Rafael Marquez Alvarez, and a singer, Julio Cesar Alvarez Montelongo, who the Department said have long-standing relationships with Flores Hernandez.

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A former chief of worldwide operations for the DEA, Mike Vigil, told the Associated Press that "it would be hard to imagine Marquez didn't know who he was dealing with because Flores Hernandez has been around for so long". He still occasionally captains the Mexican national team, having represented his country in four World Cup soccer tournaments.

During his club career, he won two Champions League trophies and four league titles while playing for Barcelona.

A former FC Barcelona star has been accused of being a "front person" for a Mexican drug cartel.

A stint in MLS with New York Red Bulls followed, before he turned to play for Leon in 2013.

According to reports in the US, Marquez was linked to Hernandez's organisation via a football school called Escuela de Futbol Rafael Marquez as well as various other sports and health outfits.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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