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U.S. Expands Sanctions Against Mexico Druglord ‘El Azul’

The U.S. Treasury Department said today that it has expanded sanctions against Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel and its reputed leader, Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, known as “El Azul.”

The Treasury forbade Americans to conduct business with two companies linked to Esparragoza Moreno and also froze any assets the companies may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

One of the firms, Urbanizadora Nueva Italia SA, is a real estate company that sells homes in a community near Guadalajara controlled by Esparragoza Moreno. The other is an event-planning company, Socialika Rentas y Catering SA, owned by his daughter.

“Today’s action serves as a reminder to Esparragoza Moreno that he and his organization remain in our sights,” Adam J. Szubin, Director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement in Washington.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Wellisz in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at

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