Mexico Footballer Accused of Cartel Link

Mexico City — The captain of Mexico’s national

football team has been sanctioned by the US for allegedly being a

“front person” for a drug-trafficking cartel, the BBC said.

Rafael Marquez was one of 21 people and 42 organisations

singled out by the US treasury department for sanctions. They are all

accused of having ties with alleged drug trafficker Raul Flores

Hernandez.

Marquez made a statement to the Mexican attorney general’s

office, but no details were released immediately.

Mexican singer Julio Cesar A�lvarez is also on the list.

Both he and Rafael Marquez are accused, in a US treasury

department statement, of having “longstanding relationships with

Flores Hernandez… acted as front persons for him and his DTO [drug-

trafficking organisation] and held assets on their behalf”.

The statement said the ruling meant that any assets of theirs

under US jurisdiction or controlled by people in the US would be

frozen.

Marquez, known to fans as “Rafa”, made a voluntary declaration

before the Mexican attorney general’s office on Wednesday, it said.

Julio Cesar A�lvarez rejected the claims against him and also

defended Marquez.

“He’s got one of the longest careers in football,” he said in a post on

Facebook. “Do you really think he would need to do something like

this?”

Marquez, 38, has represented Mexico in four World Cups and

won more than 140 international caps in two decades with the national

side.

Having played for European club sides Monaco and Barcelona,

where he won the Spanish league four times and the Champions

League twice, the defender returned to Mexico in 2015 to rejoin his first

club Atlas, where he remains captain, the BBC reported.

Source: Oman News Agency

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