Friday, June 14, 2024

3 mayors’ accounts blocked for suspected ties to Jalisco cartel

Federal financial investigators have frozen bank accounts belonging to three mayors in Jalisco and Oaxaca for their alleged collaboration with organized crime, according to information obtained by the newspaper Milenio. 

The investigations are in relation to operation “Blue Agave,” a joint effort carried out in cooperation with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to cripple the Jalisco New Generation Cartel financially. Some 1,939 bank accounts containing US $1.1 billion have been frozen since the beginning of June.

The Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF),  a federal agency, is investigating bank accounts belonging to the municipality of Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos in Jalisco, as well the personal accounts of its mayor, Eduardo Cervantes Aguilar.

Cervantes, who is embroiled in controversy over the May 5 death of Giovanni López, allegedly at the hands of municipal police officers, has been suspected since 2015 of having links with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and was investigated in 2017 for his alleged participation in the sale of weapons to civilians posing as municipal police. 

The UIF is also investigating Mónica Marín Buenrostro, mayor of El Grullo, Jalisco, and has frozen her personal accounts and those of the municipality she governs, as well as bank accounts belonging to Antonio Morales Toledo, mayor of San Blas Atempa, Oaxaca, whom they suspect also has cartel ties. 

UIF director Santiago Nieto met Monday with Jalisco Attorney General Gerardo Solís to discuss financial anomalies relating to all three mayors, such as bank balances that do not reflect their income. 

At least five mayors across Mexico are being investigated for money laundering and their connections to the cartel and organized crime, the UIF announced.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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