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US sanctions Mexican football star over drug cartel ties

US authorities on Wednesday announced sanctions against Mexican football captain Rafael Marquez over suspected ties to a notorious drug cartel.

Marquez is accused of being a “front person” with a “longstanding relationship” to alleged Mexican drug trafficker Raul Flores Hernandez and his cartel, the US Treasury Department said in a statement.

All of Marquez’ assets under US jurisdiction were to be frozen and US citizens were to be banned from engaging in business with the football player, the statement said.

One of Mexico’s most successful football players, Marquez is captain of the national football team and represented the country at the last four World Cups. He currently plays for CF Atlas in Guadalajara.

He was among 22 people and 43 Mexican organizations targeted by the department on Wednesday in one of the largest single US actions against a Mexican cartel under the US’ anti-drugs-trafficking “Kingpin Act.”


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