U.S. targets two sons of Mexican drug lord

Reuters News
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Posted: May 08, 2012 12:59 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Tuesday it would freeze any U.S. assets held by two sons of Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman, signaling them out as leading figures in their father's Sinaloa cartel.

The U.S. Treasury said Americans are now banned from doing any business with the two men, who were identified as Ivan Guzman and Ovidio Guzman, under the terms of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act.

Their father - nicknamed "El Chapo" or "Shorty" - is Mexico's most wanted man. He escaped a Mexican jail in a laundry cart in 2001 and runs the country's most powerful gang from an undisclosed location.

Drug violence in Mexico has exploded over the last decade, and there have been over 50,000 drug-related killings since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006.

Ivan Guzman was arrested in Mexico in 2005 on money laundering charges but was later released, the Treasury said. It added that Ovidio Guzman "also plays a significant role in his father's drug trafficking activities."

Two other members of the Sinaloa cartel were also named by Treasury in the announcement.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Paul Simao)