Obama Administration Designates 3 Mexican Drug Cartels for Special Sanctions

Apr 15, 2009 3:02pm

President Obama today designated three Mexican drug cartels — Sinaloa Cartel, Los Zetas, and La Familia Michoacana — as targeted for special U.S. sanctions.

The designation was made under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, which allows the U.S. government to target the activities of major drug traffickers and their organizations. The objective is to deny the cartels and their members access to the U.S. trade and financial systems.

"With today’s actions, the Department of Treasury will be permitted over the months and years ahead to block or seize any assets, accounts or securities under U.S. jurisdiction of those belonging to these cartels or who act on their behalf," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said today.

"Today’s action underscores the U.S. government’s support for President Calderon’s courageous attack on the cartels and our attempts to attack the financial underpinnings of Mexico’s cartels, believed to generate billions of dollars annually,"

President Obama will meet with President Calderon tomorrow in Mexico City in his first visit South of the border as president.

"The United States and Mexico are sharing a level of unprecedented cooperation, starting with these designations, which help make — which help give these a tangible effect. That cooperation is indicative of the across-the-board improvement in bilateral work to take on such cartels."

– jpt

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