U.S. sanctions three members of Jalisco cartel connected to the murder of ex-governor in Puerto Vallarta

The United States Department of Treasury identified two alleged members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, whom it linked to the attack of the capital’s Secretary of Security, Omar García Harfuch, and the murder of former Jalisco governor, Aristóteles Sandoval in Puerto Vallarta.

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Carlos Andrés Rivera Varela, “La Firma”; and Francisco Javier Gudiño Haro, “La Gallina”, are two of the men named by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) who allegedly orchestrating homicides using high-powered weapons on behalf of the Cartel, and sanctioned by the United States.

The two men had already been identified the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Mexico on March 31, when Mexico blocked the accounts of both men.

The U.S. Treasury also identified a travel agent, Alejandro Chacón Miranda, as a facilitator of the transfers of the cartel’s high command and their allies, for which the U.S. sanctioned the man and two businesses connected to Miranda.

The three men live in Jalisco and are associates of Gonzalo Mendoza, “El Sapo”, who in May 2019 was sanctioned after being identified as the head of the Jalisco cartel in Puerto Vallarta, and allegedly responsible for violence in the region.

According to the announcement of the Treasury Department, released on Tuesday, Rivera Varela and Gudiño Haro operate in Puerto Vallarta, where they lead violent attacks against rivals and elements of the armed forces to maintain control in the area.

“This group is allegedly responsible for the attempted assassination, with high-powered weapons, of the head of the Secretariat of Public Security of Mexico City on June 26, 2020. The same group was also allegedly behind the murder of the former governor of Jalisco in Puerto Vallarta on December 18, 2020,” OFAC said in a Statement.

The travel agent sanctioned, Chacón Miranda, owns Dale Tours, an agency through which he facilitates the movement of money and drugs for the Jalisco Cartel, which is why this company was included in the sanctions on Tuesday.

The U.S. also sanctioned Agrícola Costa Alegre, a company controlled by Gudiño Haro.

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