US Treasury Sanctions Father-in-Law of ‘El Chapo’

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The US Treasury added the father-in-law of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the so-called “Kingpin List,” a continuation of the department’s efforts to increase the pressure on the family of the Sinaloa Cartel leader.

Ines Coronel Barreras, Guzman’s father-in-law, was added to the Kingpin Act on January 9,  along with Damas Lopez Nuñez, who allegedly helped Guzman escape from a Mexican prison in 2001, according to the US Treasury Department press release.

Coronel is the father of El Chapo’s third wife, former beauty queen Emma Coronel, who famously gave birth to twins in a Los Angeles hospital in September 2011.  El Chapo is the presumed father of the pair. The US Treasury Department accuses Emma Coronel’s father of playing “a key role” within the Sinaloa Cartel. However, there are no charges against his daughter, a US citizen who was able to travel freely to California and back to Mexico after giving birth. 

This blacklisting by the the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) freezes any assets Coronel Barreras and Lopez Nuñez may have in the US, and also prohibits US nationals from doing business with them. 

InSight Crime Analysis

The OFAC has consistently targeted El Chapo’s family members over the past year. Two of the drug kingpin’s sons were blacklisted in May 2012, followed by similar Kingpin Act designations against El Chapo’s first wife and another son in June. His second wife was blacklisted last September (see the US Treasury Department graphic, below).

While the Zetas, Gulf Cartel, and Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) have all suffered losses in recent years, with leaders either being captured or killed by Mexican forces, the Sinaloa Cartel has come through comparatively unscathed. Nevertheless, the cartel has consistently come under the attention from OFAC, one indication that the US may believe that squeezing the finances of El Chapo’s inner circle is an effective strategy, and one that may bring about his downfall. 

Sinaloa Cartel

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