US sanctions Mexico’s Familia Michoacana drug cartel

MEXICO CITY — The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions Thursday on Mexico’s Familia Michoacana drug cartel, which it accused of manufacturing “rainbow” fentanyl pills purportedly aimed at children.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, blocked any U.S. properties of the Hurtado brothers, the leaders of the cartel, and prohibited U.S. citizens from having dealings with them.

The cartel is based in the southern state of Guerrero and is often known as “The New Michoacan Family,” to distinguish it from an older gang that was largely expelled from the western state of Michoacan in the mid 2010s.

“Not only does this cartel traffic fentanyl, which claimed the lives of more than 108,000 Americans last year, it now markets ‘rainbow fentanyl’ as part of a deliberate effort to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in a statement.

There has been debate about whether the multicolored fentanyl pills that have appeared in the U.S. market are designed to attract teens and young adults, or simply to distinguish the gang’s brand.

Mexican cartels usually ship blue fentanyl pills to the United States that are counterfeited to look like Xanax, Adderall or Oxycodone. Synthetic opioid overdoses kill tens of thousands of Americans each year, in part because many of those who take the pills do not know they are taking fentanyl.

Thursday’s sanctions were directed at José Alfredo Hurtado, who leads the Familia Michoacana along with his brother Johnny Hurtado. The Treasury Department says the cartel also traffics meth, heroin and cocaine.

Their gang has been active in Guerrero and the neighboring states of Morelos, Mexico and Michoacan, and is known for being notoriously violent.

In October, authorities said a massacre of 20 townspeople in the town of Totolapan, Guerrero, appears to have been the work of José Alfredo Hurtado, who tried to use social media to blame a rival gang.

The Oct. 5 attack in the town of Totolapan killed the town’s mayor, his father and 18 other men. Responsibility for the attack was originally claimed in a video attributed to a near-extinct gang known as the Tequileros. Men in the dark, shadowy video said they carried out the attack and were retaking Totolapan.

The Tequileros had long terrorized the town, but had been chased out years ago by a vigilante group believed to have been backed by the Familia Michoacana, which dominates the area.

José Alfredo Hurtado posted a video several days later saying he was the intended target of the shooting and had narrowly escaped. But officials said later the capo’s own group probably carried out the killings.

News outlets had reported that the Hurtado brothers may have been upset because the Totolapan mayor and the group of vigilantes he apparently headed had rejected the capos’ choice of another man to lead the town.

Source ABC

A tech blog author and superhero who writes about technology and its impact on society, business, and everyday life

Related Posts

Elie Saab’s spring couture in Paris dreams of Thai escape

PARIS — Elie Saab whisked his guests away to Thailand for a Paris Fashion Week couture show Wednesday that gleamed with gold and intricate silk embroidery. Sheer diaphanous cloth floated…

Read more

Lloyd Morrisett, who helped launch ‘Sesame Street,’ dies

NEW YORK — Lloyd Morrisett, the co-creator of the beloved children’s education TV series “Sesame Street,” which uses empathy and fuzzy monsters like Abby Cadabby, Elmo and Cookie Monster to…

Read more

Why do so many older adults choose Medicare Advantage?

In 2022, 48% of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans instead of original Medicare, and experts predict that number will be higher in 2023. Medicare Advantage plans are…

Read more

North Carolina doctor sues over abortion pill access, in test case of federal power

In a lawsuit that could impact abortion access nationwide, a North Carolina doctor on Wednesday asked a federal district court to strike down the state’s restrictions on the abortion drug…

Read more

Edmunds: The pros and cons of software running your car

Software was a big theme for automakers attending CES 2023 in January. BMW, Stellantis, Volkswagen and a joint venture between Honda and Sony showed off upcoming or concept vehicles that…

Read more

Jill Biden’s inaugural wear to go on display at Smithsonian

WASHINGTON — First ladies typically donate their inaugural ball gowns to the Smithsonian Institution for its collection. Jill Biden is giving up two clothing ensembles, and neither one includes a…

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *