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Major drug-producing or drug-transit country

September 15, 2011 – Under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (FAA), the President is required each year to notify Congress of those countries he determines to be major illicit drug-producing countries or major drug-transit countries that significantly affect the United States. A country’s presence on the list does not necessarily reflect its counternarcotics efforts or its level of cooperation on illegal drug control with the United States. The designation can reflect a combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to be produced and/or trafficked through a country.

When a country on the list does not fulfill its obligations under international counter-narcotics agreements and conventions, the President determines that the country has failed demonstrably to meet its counterdrug obligations, only Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela, failed demonstrably. Such a designation can lead to sanctions. However, the President may also execute a waiver when he determines there is a vital national interest in continuing U.S. assistance. Even without such a waiver, humanitarian assistance and counternarcotics assistance may continue.


July 25, 2011 – President Obama has signed an Executive Order imposing sanctions against significant transnational criminal organizations (TCO’s). The Order provides the United States with new tools to break the economic power of transnational organized crime and protect financial markets. It will assist the Administration’s efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the TCO’s that pose a significant threat to U.S. national security, foreign policy or the economy.

As a result of this Order, any property in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which the significant TCO’s listed in the Annex have an interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

The Order also authorizes the U.S. Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the Departments of Justice and State, to identify for sanctions any individual or entity determined to have materially assisted, sponsored or provided financial, material or technological support for any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this Order.

The US encourage partners and allies to echo the commitment and join in building a new framework for international cooperation to protect all our citizens from the violence, harm and exploitation wrought by transnational organized crime.

In signing today’s Order, the President imposed sanctions on the following organizations listed:

More information on the Transnational Criminal Organizations page.

June 05, 2013 – Transnational Criminal Organizations Designations – Mara Salvatrucha Leaders aka MS13

The Mara Salvatrucha gang originated in Los Angeles and has spread to Central America, other parts of the United States, and Canada. It is commonly abbreviated as MS, Mara, and MS-13. There is some dispute about the etymology of the name. The most common belief is that the word “Mara” refers to the Spanish word for “gang”, and “Salvatrucha” (which is Spanish slang) for “Salvadoran army ant”. Alternatively, it is suggested that “Salvatrucha” refers to the Salvadoran peasant guerrillas, the source of much of the gang’s early manpower. The number 13 is homage to the Los Angeles gang “Los Emes” or “The Ms”(M being the thirteenth letter of the alphabet). The gang was set up in Los Angeles in 1980’s by Salvadoran immigrants in the city’s Pico-Union neighborhood. Source: Urban Dictionary

Please visit this chart for more information on these designations.

The following individuals have been added to OFAC’s SDN List: <sort> BERCIAN MANCHON, Moris Alexander (a.k.a. “EL BARNEY”); DOB 30 Oct 1984; POB San Salvador, El Salvador; nationality El Salvador (individual) [TCO]. CISNEROS RODRIGUEZ, Jose Misael (a.k.a. CISNEROS, Jose Misal; a.k.a. “HALF MILLION”; a.k.a. “MEDIO MLON”); DOB 02 Oct 1976; POB Agua Caliente, Chalatenango, El Salvador; nationality El Salvador (individual) [TCO]. HENRIQUEZ SOLORZANO, Borromeo Enrique (a.k.a. RIVERA ARIAS, Racson Mario; a.k.a. “EL DIABLITO”; a.k.a. “EL DIABLITO DE HOLLYWOOD”; a.k.a. “EL DIABLO”; a.k.a. “EL DIABLO PEQUENO”); DOB 27 Jul 1978; POB San Salvador, El Salvador; nationality El Salvador (individual) [TCO]. MONTERROSA-LARIOS, Marvin Geovanny (a.k.a. MONTERROSA-LARIOS, Marvin Jeovanny; a.k.a. “ENANO”); DOB 21 May 1974; POB San Miguel, San Miguel, El Salvador; nationality El Salvador (individual) [TCO]. RIVERA-LUNA, Moises Humberto (a.k.a. “SANTOS”; a.k.a. “VIEJO SANTOS”); DOB 23 May 1969; POB San Salvador, El Salvador; nationality El Salvador (individual) [TCO]. TURCIOS ANGEL, Saul Antonio (a.k.a. “EL TRECE”; a.k.a. “SHAYBOYS”); DOB 17 May 1978; POB Zaragoza, La Libertad, El Salvador; nationality El Salvador (individual) [TCO]. </sort> OFAC Recent Actions


August 07, 2012 – Treasury Targets Belize-Based Operatives of Chapo Guzman

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of John Zabaneh and two members of his drug trafficking organization, who are based in Belize and are key associates of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera, and other members of the Sinaloa Cartel. The action also includes the designation of five companies in Belize that are owned or controlled by John Zabaneh or members of his organization. Today’s action, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals and companies, and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

“John Zabaneh’s drug trafficking activities and his organization’s ties to Colombian sources of supply and Mexican buyers make him a critical figure in the narcotics trade,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “By designating Zabaneh, OFAC is disrupting those activities and continuing its efforts, alongside those of our law enforcement partners, to expose operatives of Chapo Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel, including their businesses.”

OFAC is designating John Zabaneh for the prominent role that he and his organization play in narcotics trafficking in Central America, particularly Belize, as well as their role in the drug trafficking operations of Chapo Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel. John Zabaneh and his organization have been involved in narcotics trafficking since the 1980s. In addition to the designation of John Zabaneh, today’s action includes the designation of his nephew, Dion Zabaneh, and a close associate, Daniel Moreno. The action also includes the designation of five companies owned or controlled by John Zabaneh or Daniel Moreno. Zabaneh’s companies are Mayan King Limited (banana farm), Mid-South Investments Limited (building contractor and property consultant), Crown Paradise Enterprises Limited (resort management and marina), and Belize Chemicals Limited (pharmaceuticals). Moreno’s company is D’s Supermarket Company Limited (grocery store).

Today’s action would not have been possible without the key support of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“DEA and its partners continue our sustained attack on brutal criminal regimes such as the Sinaloa Cartel and its leadership and those who help facilitate their drug and money networks,” said DEA Chief of Financial Operations John Arvanitis. “The OFAC Designation of the Zabeneh organization is necessary to dismantle and further disrupt the operations of the Sinaloa Cartel in other parts of the world.”

Guzman Loera and the Sinaloa Cartel were identified by the President as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act in 2001 and 2009, respectively.

Internationally, OFAC has designated more than 1,100 businesses and individuals linked to 97 drug kingpins since June 2000. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.

US Press Release & Chart of the Organization

August 07, 2012 – Kingpin Act Designations; Anti-Terrorism Designations

The following individuals have been added to OFAC’s SDN:

The following entities have been added to OFAC’s SDN:

OFAC Recent Actions – Aug 07, 2012

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