News / Americas

US Drops Sanctions on Colombia Drug Cartel

FILE - Colombian police fingerprint the former boss of the powerful Cali drug cartel, Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, before being extradited to the United States at Palanquero military Base in Puerto Salgar, March 11, 2005.
FILE - Colombian police fingerprint the former boss of the powerful Cali drug cartel, Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, before being extradited to the United States at Palanquero military Base in Puerto Salgar, March 11, 2005.
Reuters
The United States on Thursday dropped almost all remaining sanctions on the Colombian Cali drug cartel in the single largest delisting in the history of the U.S. sanctions programs.
 
The Treasury Department said the action was taken following the sanctions-related financial collapse of the Colombia-based Cali cartel, in its heyday the world's most powerful drug trafficking organization.
 
“Today's action demonstrates the successful use of targeted sanctions, which have destroyed the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers' business empire,” Adam Szubin, the director of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement.

The two brothers were the leaders of the Cali cartel and are the only two who remain on the sanctions list as Colombian authorities finish confiscating all their assets. The brothers, Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, are now serving jail terms in the United States.
 
In all, the United States lifted sanctions on 78 persons and 230 entities with ties to the cartel. The sanctions had frozen any assets these people and organizations may have held in the United States and prohibited U.S. businesses from dealing with them.
 
In Colombia, the sanctions also exerted a powerful influence on local businesses, who strived to avoid ties to illicit finance. Getting on the U.S. sanctions list was akin to a “civic death,” according to a senior Treasury official.
 
Later, the power of the sanctions was also bolstered by the cooperation of Colombian law enforcement, which aggressively confiscated the cartel's assets.
 
“I don't know that sanctions in a different environment have quite the same impact,” said the senior official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.
 
The delisting also bolsters Treasury's argument that sanctions are meant to change behavior, not simply punish bad actors. Treasury delisted those with prior ties to the Cali cartel who promised to sever ties to drug trafficking and return illegal assets.
 
In all, more than 800 people and companies have been deleted from Treasury's sanctions list since 2012. That compares to about 1,300 new people and companies added to the list in that time.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Tutu Lends Support to Age Campaign

Help Age International has launched Action 2015 campaign
More

Colombia Kills 18 FARC Rebels

The bombing raid took place in the Cauca region of western Colombia
More

US, Cuba Talks Resume With Focus on Embassies

Fourth round of talks aimed at overcoming obstacles to opening embassies in each other's capitals and re-establishing diplomatic ties
More

Lawmakers Question Normalization Effort With Cuba

On eve of next round of US-Cuba talks, Senator Bob Menendez calls engagement 'one-sided'
More

Chinese Premier Visits South America

Brazil is the first stop on Chinese premier Li’s tour of Latin America
More

2 US Senators Would Require Cuba to Address Claims

Republican Senators Rubio, Vitter say Cuba needs to address up to $8 billion in outstanding claims by US citizens, businesses for properties confiscated by Castros before trade, travel embargoes lifted
More