Mexican cattle linked to drug cartel

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Dec 20, 2007
by WLJ
The U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) Aug. 18 announced that two Mexican cattle companies are among the front businesses for Mexican drug-trafficking cartels. Cattle sold to Texas ranchers by these suspect companies after Aug. 19 could be seized as evidence of a money laundering scheme, agency officials said.
Cattle already purchased and owned before the suspect Mexican companies were identified are not going to be impacted by the announcement, Treasury officials said.
The department also plans to inform cattle associations and other groups of the action taken against the Mexican companies, officials said. The Treasury also will provide other information, such as the brands used by the cattle companies linked to the drug cartels.
For now, buyers are expected to practice due diligence when purchasing cattle.
The two Mexican cattle companies named by the Treasury Department are Corrales San Ignacio S.P.R. de R.L. de C.V. and Del Nortes Carnes Finas San Ignacio S.A. de C.V., both of Mexico’s Chihuahua state.
A U.S. company in Presidio, TX, Corrales San Ignacio L.L.C., was identified by the Treasury Department as a “mirror” entity, which is an organization that exists on paper to give a foreign company a U.S. outlet. Treasury officials said it was unlikely that company actually has any pens or feed lots.
The two suspect cattle companies are linked to the Arriola Marquez group, which is associated with Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Guzman is a leader of one of the factions fighting for control of Nuevo Laredo and its smuggling routes into Texas.
The U.S. cannot seize cartel property outside the country. But once the companies have been identified as having links to drug cartels, federal law prohibits anyone from doing business with them and allows the federal government to take any property of the groups that is “in the possession or control of U.S. persons.”
It is not clear how many Mexican cattle owned by companies linked to drug cartels have been sold in Texas.
The two cattle companies are part of approximately 30 total companies and individuals that have been linked to the Arriola Marquez and Arellano Felix organizations.