Recent US sanctions against an alleged Jalisco Cartel operator reveal that the powerful Mexican group is using Puerto Vallarta to launder drug proceeds through nightclubs, bars, and restaurants.
The US Department of the Treasury accused Sergio Armando Orozco Rodríguez, alias “Chocho”, of having links with senior members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) through an announcement on February 17. Treasury representatives claimed that Orozco Rodríguez has multiple businesses in Puerto Vallarta, where he allegedly launders money for the cartel and directs his extortion networks in the coastal destination.
Any new business in Puerto Vallarta had to obtain unofficial authorization from Orozco Rodríguez to open and also had to pay regular ‘fees’ to the CJNG, according to the Treasury Department.
“People like Sergio Armando Orozco Rodríguez help the CJNG infiltrate the Puerto Vallarta economy and intimidate legitimate businesses,” Undersecretary of the Treasury Brian E. Nelson said in the statement.
“The cartel uses this well-known tourist destination as a strategic stronghold not only for drug trafficking but also for money laundering, extortion, kidnapping, and murder,” he added.
Orozco Rodríguez is the fourth member of the CJNG in Puerto Vallarta to be blacklisted by the Treasury Department in recent years.
In April 2021, Treasury officials accused Francisco Javier Gudiño Haro and Carlos Andrés Rivera Varela of belonging to the group of hitmen from Puerto Vallarta that works for the CJNG. The Treasury Department said in its statement that the men “helped coordinate murders with high-caliber weapons on behalf of the CJNG,” referring to the high-profile murder of former Jalisco state governor Aristóteles Sandoval in December 2020 in Puerto Vallarta.
Gonzalo Mendoza Gaytán, alias “El Sapo,” also received sanctions in 2019. Treasury officials described him as a high-ranking member of the CJNG, serving as the group’s head in Puerto Vallarta.
With each new blacklist, the importance of the fate of the beaches for CJNG operations is drawn more clearly, especially with regard to synthetic drug trafficking.
Unlike other major tourist destinations in the country, the CJNG seems to have control of Puerto Vallarta, the group’s stronghold in the state of Jalisco, from where its members obtain income from extortion, money laundering, and human trafficking.
The CJNG also plays a major role in smuggling the lethal synthetic opioid fentanyl into the United States. Puerto Vallarta is considered an essential node in that supply chain, as it receives shipments of chemical precursors and fentanyl analogs from China.
Trending Stories Right Now on PVDN
- Coca-Cola will build recycling plant in Puerto Vallarta Coca-Cola Mexico will invest $175 million pesos in the construction and expansion of collection and recycling plants in the country this year, one being in Puerto Vallarta. Mario García, director of North Region Operations of the company, said that $45 million pesos of the investment will be used to expand the infrastructure of the PetStar…
- There are officially 100,000 missing people in Mexico The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center (Prodh Center) reported that the National Registry of Disappeared and Unaccounted for Persons has reached 100,000 in Mexico. The civil association called for the creation of policies for the prevention and eradication of disappearances, as recommended by the United Nations (UN). On April 12, the UN presented…
- Where do foreigners come from and where do they live in Mexico? Due to its location, which connects the south of the American Continent with the United States, Mexico is a transit country for foreigners, but it has also become a place of residence for hundreds of thousands who decided to make a life in Mexico. According to figures from the National Institute of Migration (INM), corresponding…
- Puerto Vallarta has a new flight from Canada For the upcoming winter season, Puerto Vallarta will have new Flair Airlines flights from the Canadian cities of Edmonton and Vancouver, which will represent 2,268 new seats per month for the destination. Flights will begin the first week of November, which coincides with the increase in demand from Canadian tourists, who will have more options…
- They predict 17 named storms for the 2022 Pacific hurricane season starting May 15 The 2022 hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean area will begin on May 15, according to meteorological projections in Mexico, and experts predict that there will be greater activity than last year. For 2022, 9 hurricanes and 8 tropical storms are predicted for the Pacific Ocean; that is, 17 named storms when the typical number…