Rafael Marquez, a former Barcelona defender and the current captain of Mexico has been blacklisted among 22 people sanctioned for alleged ties to a drug trafficking organisation, the United States Treasury announced on Wednesday.
In a statement made available Wednesday, the Treasury will also sanction 43 entities in Mexico, including a football team and casino.
The sanctions are as a result of a multi-year investigation of the drug trafficking organization allegedly headed by Raul Flores Hernandez.
Flores Hernandez allegedly operated independently in the northern city of Guadalajara, but maintained alliances with the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels. Federal drug trafficking indictments against Flores Hernandez were returned in March in Washington and the southern district of California.
The U.S. government referred to Marquez, who currently plays for the Mexican club Atlas in Guadalajara, and Norteno singer Julio Cesar Alvarez, better known as Julion Alvarez, as people with longstanding relationships with Flores Hernandez, who “have acted as front persons for him and his [drug trafficking organization] and held assets on their behalf.”
The sanctions freeze all US assets of the people and entities named and forbid US citizens from doing business with them.
Rafael Marquez, who played as a central defender for Barcelona, Monaco, and New York Red Bull among several other clubs, is yet to react to the sanction.