U.S. targets assets of Mexico drug boss Guzman's second wife

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 06, 2012 12:22 PM
U.S. targets assets of Mexico drug boss Guzman's second wife

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday targeted the assets of Griselda Lopez Perez, second wife of fugitive drug baron Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, stepping up pressure on the family of Mexico's most-wanted man who escaped from prison more than 11 years ago.

The action, which freezes any assets that she has under U.S. jurisdiction and bans U.S. citizens or firms from doing business with her, is the third such designation by the United States in five months of Guzman family members.

"This action builds on Treasury's aggressive efforts, alongside its law enforcement partners, to target individuals who facilitate ... Guzman's drug-trafficking operations," Treasury's Adam Szubin said in a statement.

Guzman, also know at El Chapo, is head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Mexico's largest drug-smuggling network. He escaped from a maximum-security prison in a laundry cart in 2001 and has eluded government efforts to recapture him.

Lopez, Guzman's second ex-wife, was detained in Mexico on unspecified charges in May 2010 for less than a day and then released. It is believed several of Guzman's businesses and assets are still in her name.

She had five children with Guzman, one of whom worked for the Sinaloa cartel and was killed by drug rivals. She and Guzman married twice. He later married a third woman, and last year fathered twins with a girlfriend. Guzman has around a dozen children.

(Reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by Will Dunham)