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Mexican Soccer Star Rafael Márquez Sanctioned By U.S. For Ties To Drug Kingpin

Photo: Hector Vivas/Getty

Rafael Márquez, a Mexican national team star and former MLS player, has been sanctioned by the United States government, along with 21 other individuals and more than 40 entities, for allegedly aiding Mexican drug kingpin Raul Flores Hernandez, the U.S. Treasury said today.

“Raul Flores Hernandez has operated for decades because of his longstanding relationships with other drug cartels and his use of financial front persons to mask his investments of illegal drug proceeds,” Office of Foreign Assets Control Director John E. Smith said in a statement.


Márquez has been placed on the Specially Designated Nationals list by OFAC, which means his U.S. assets are frozen and U.S. entities are “generally prohibited” from doing business with him, according to the U.S. Treasury’s description of the sanctions.

The list of blocked entities include Marquez’s school, Escuela de Fútbol Rafael Marquez, and his charity, Fútbol y Corazón.

The list also included the famous norteño singer Julion Alvarez. In its statement, OFAC said both Márquez and Alvarez “have longstanding relationships with Flores Hernandez, and have acted as front persons for him and his [Drug Trafficking Organization] and held assets on their behalf.”

The 38-year-old Márquez, who played for Barcelona, Monaco and the New York Reb Bulls, currently plays for the Mexican club Atlas in Guadalajara.

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