MEXICO CITY – The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions Tuesday against two sons of Sinaloa cartel drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico said the Treasury Department designated Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar and Ovidio Guzman Lopez under Kingpin Act, which prohibits people in the U.S. from conducting businesses with them and freezes their U.S. assets. El Chapo Guzman was put on the list in 2001.
The department said Ovidio Guzman Lopez plays a significant role in his father’s drug trafficking activities, and that Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar was detained on money laundering charges in Mexico in 2005, but was later released.
The department also named two other alleged high-ranking Sinaloa cartel figures to the list. Both Noel Salgueiro Nevarez and Ovidio Limon Sanchez were detained in Mexico in 2011 and remain in custody.
On Monday, authorities in the northern border state of Nuevo Leon announced they had captured the female leader of a local cell of the violent Zetas drug cartel who is suspected of ordering or participating in at least 20 murders in or around the northern city of Monterrey.
One of the gang’s alleged victims was a police detective killed March 2 in a suburb of Monterrey.
State security spokesman Jorge Domene said suspect Maria Guadalupe Jimenez Lopez is nicknamed “La Tosca,” or “the Rough One.” Domene said that among the half-dozen suspected members of her gang arrested with her were three men who worked as hired killers and lookouts, earning between 4,000 and 10,000 pesos ($300 to $750) per month.
Three other members of the gang detained on May 1 are women: a 49-year-old mother and her two daughters, aged 18 and 30, who allegedly worked as lookouts and sold drugs at a bar.
Domene said Jimenez Lopez received payments to oversee drug sales, auto theft, kidnappings and murders of rival gang members. All the suspects are being held pending investigation.
Women have been active in Mexico’s drug cartels, and a few have allegedly taken on high-level responsibility in the gangs. But women are usually employed by the cartels as drug couriers, lookouts or minor dealers; it is unusual to find them as leaders of local enforcement squads.