(By Estera Popowska)
Following a deadly gang ambush by Mexico’s Jalisco New Generation cartel that left 15 Mexican cops dead, the U.S. Treasury Department Tuesday announced sanctions on the growing cartel, reports AP.
According to reports, the Mexican cartel ambushed a police convoy on a rural highway and opened fire, killing 15 officers and injuring five in what has been described as the bloodiest single attack on Mexican law enforcement in recent memory.
The assault reportedly happened on a Jalisco state police convoy on a rural road between the Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara, the state capital.
AP reported that the Mexican cartel and a related gang, the Cuinis, were placed on the U.S. Foreign Narcotics Kingpin list Tuesday. The designation seizes the property and interests of the gangs and their leaders in the United States and prohibits U.S. citizens from engaging in transactions with them.
“These two organizations have rapidly expanded their criminal empire in recent years through the use of violence and corruption,” John E. Smith, acting director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control reportedly said.. “They now rank among the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in Mexico.”
The cartel originated in Jalisco, the western state once dominated by Sinaloa cartel leader Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel until his death in a shootout in 2010. But since then, the cartel "has expanded beyond Jalisco to other Mexican states, including Michoacan and Colima," Smith's office wrote in a press statement, and "has also further developed its ties to other criminal organizations around the world, including in the United States, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia."
The killing of police officers on Monday was the latest in a series of ambushes and attack by cartel gunmen that AP reported some analysts say amounts to a military-style offensive against the government (Source: AP)