The failure of Operation "Agave Azul"by the FIU

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The failure of Operation "Agave Azul"by the FIU


Erika and Berenisse González Valencia, sisters-in-law of “El Mencho”

Monday, September 14, 2020 01:00 PM

Suspects of belonging to organized crime, laundering money or receiving economic benefits from the CJNG, they have been able to unlock bank accounts frozen by the FIU. A federal judge granted suspension of the act claimed to two of the sisters-in-law of "El Mencho" so that they can use their financial resources. Banking interventions continue against former police officers, tequila companies and entire families, especially in the state of Jalisco, the cradle of the persecuted cartel. The effectiveness of the blockade depends on whether the request for the precautionary measure is at the request of a foreign government

What was announced as a major blow to the finances of the Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG), its members, families, figureheads, companies facade and beneficiaries, is diluted to the restrictions of the Mexican legal framework, so that the results of the call operation "Agave Azul" of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), are questionable so far.

Faced with the policy that rejects a frontal war against organized crime, the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, made the freezing of bank accounts of alleged criminals its main strategy, without taking into account the "locks" that the laws establish in this regard.

Nemesio Oseguera Martínez, "El Mencho"

Three months after the biggest onslaught against the finances of the CJNG was publicized, in which it was presumed the blocking of 1,939 bank accounts, belonging to 1,770 individuals, 167 companies and two trusts, its effectiveness is doubtful, since those affected with These actions have obtained provisional or definitive suspensions within amparo proceedings.

In this way, people identified as drug traffickers, tequila companies, lawyers, former policemen, companies dedicated to advertising or printing and even several municipalities that suffered from the freezing of economic resources in banking institutions, managed to get district judges to order the unblocking of their accounts. of checks, savings, credit or debit cards so that they could carry out financial operations and have their resources.

The main difficulty for the tax authorities lies in the Credit Institutions Law, which establishes that the blockade -in this type of investigation- proceeds when it is issued in compliance with an obligation contracted with a foreign government or the execution of a resolution adopted by an international organization or intergovernmental group whose powers were recognized based on an obligation assumed by the Mexican State.

Although it is known that behind the special operation are US authorities interested in combating and reducing drug trafficking, in most cases there is no express request from that foreign government, since the list of suspicious people and businesses was enlarged abundantly by the UIF when establishing networks of links between members of the CJNG and “Los Cuinis”.

It was on June 2 when the FIU revealed that in coordination with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States, they identified assets and the precautionary insurance of bank accounts that allegedly belong to the main leaders, operators financial, family, companies, lawyers and various public servants involved with the CJNG.

Although the blocking of 1,939 bank accounts was announced as a fait accompli due to the fact that such actions were carried out since the end of the previous administration and the beginning of the current one, the reality is that many of the accounts had only been identified, and as of the announcement, their freezing. Thus, days later it became known of the banning of some municipalities in the country, and more recently women belonging to the González Valencia family, from "Los Cuinis", sisters-in-law of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes "El Mencho" , leader of the CJNG.

This was the case against pharmaceutical companies, car distribution companies, real estate services, construction, loan or financing companies, and tequila companies. However, the FIU took longer to manage the assurance of accounts through the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) and to issue the orders to the banks to execute the measure, than the lawyers of those affected in promoting amparo proceedings and obtain suspensions of acts.

The blocking order has the consequence that the suspect of using the financial system to launder illicit profits is included in the list of blocked persons, issued by the FIU, which in turn would have to report said conduct to the Attorney General's Office of the Republic (FGR) and send letters to the president of the CNBV to order the banks to freeze bank accounts and deny the opening of new accounts.

Ulises Jovani González Valencia

Thesis of the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation provides that the application of Article 115 of the Credit Institutions Law to block or immobilize financial resources is unconstitutional, and only proceeds at the express request of a foreign authority based on the Cooperation Treaty between the United Mexican States and the States of America on mutual legal assistance.

It is also established that the request must be addressed to the FGR, as it is the coordinated authority, and once the request is qualified, it will be channeled to the competent authority. As a result, the FIU cannot directly receive the request for seizure or blocking of assets. For this reason, first because there is no such request, and because the FGR is not the authority that acts, the majority of those affected by the money freezes are restored to their fundamental rights even before the amparo sentence.



The actions of the Mexican government against criminal organizations, more emphatically, against the CJNG began as a result of the designation of its members in the lists of drug trafficking leaders formulated in recent years by the Office for the Control of Foreign Assets (OFAC) from the US Department of the Treasury.

Among those recently blocked are Erika and Berenisse González Valencia, sisters-in-law of “El Mencho”, for being sisters of Rosalinda, the wife of the CJNG leader. They are also fraternal of Abigael “El Cuini”, Arnulfo and Ulises Jovani with the same surnames, imprisoned in different prisons in Mexico; and Gerardo “El Lalo” and José “La Chepa” González Valencia, imprisoned in Uruguay and Brazil, respectively, places where their alleged criminal activity went.

Erika appeared through her lawyers before the Sixth District Court in Civil, Administrative and Labor Matters in the State of Jalisco, and through an amparo trial she claimed the acts of the head of the FIU of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit and the CNBV, for considering them violating the fundamental rights provided for in the Constitution.

The woman also pointed out: “I request that I be granted a provisional suspension for the purpose of unrestricted and without limitation lifting the impediment that this complaining party can handle the resources contained in the bank account already indicated, in order to that my livelihood is not affected, especially in this time when the COVID-19 pandemic prevails. "

On August 20, the judge granted González Valencia a provisional suspension for the purpose that "the competent authorities unblock the blockade ordered, with respect to the bank account ( BBVA Bancomer ) and that it was blocked and immobilized", specifying that if it is proven that said blockade was issued in compliance with an obligation contracted with a foreign government, the suspension will have no effect.

For her part, Berenisse González Valencia, designated as one of the cartel's main financial operators, also filed an amparo lawsuit before the Seventh District Judge of the specialty, claiming "the order freezing, blocking, immobilization and insurance of the bank account 0160054437 from the BBVA Bancomer Bank, Multiple Banking Financial Institution ”.

Arnulfo Gonzalez Valencia

The Amparo judge also presented him with the provisional suspension invoking what was stated in the claim: "The complaining party accredits that with the execution of the acts claimed, damages and losses of impossible repair may be caused, since without being proven that it is the holder of a liquidated and enforceable tax debt that warrants the observance of a measure of assurance or seizure of assets, would suffer the temporary restriction of the free exercise of their assets, which would not be compensated even by granting the protection of Justice Federal, because the temporary effects of the act of authority have already been irretrievably consummated ”.

Other people close to the circle of Nemesio Oseguera's political family have also come to request protection from the federal justice system, among them Ana Paulina Barajas Sahd, wife of Ulises Jovani González Valencia, imprisoned at the Puente Grande Preventive Prison Police Station, Jalisco; and Jorge Alberto Amaral Arévalo, brother of Wendy Dalaithi, wife of Gerardo González Valencia.


Among the people included in the list of blocked persons are government institutions, companies, former police officers and entire families suspected of assisting organized crime when using the national financial system for money movements. For this reason, bank accounts were frozen in June and July in the municipalities of Autlán de Navarro, El Grullo, Villa Purificación, Casimiro Castillo and Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos.

Interventions in bank accounts were also included for municipal presidents, and in some cases for parents and siblings, as happened in the cases of Autlán and Ixtlahuacán. However, they suffered the same fate as the González Valencia women when they filed lawsuits for guarantees and were able to access the resources, although the FIU delayed compliance with the suspensions so that the mockery was not so immediate.

Entire families of individuals have also experienced the act of annoyance by the tax authorities and the banks. Up to seven or more members of the same clan have been blocked, as happened in the Collins Pharmaceutical company , or the brothers of Eduardo Cervantes Aguilar, mayor of Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos; Imelda, Patricia, Alberto, Estela and Marco Antonio. Or a family from Guadalajara with the surnames Gómez Urbano.

Also included are former federal agents with the last name Cedano Filippini, led by Carlos Alberto, who has held important positions in the FGR and the government of Michoacán; Hugo Antonio and Genaro, who today are told to actively participate in the so-called Tobacco Cartel, dedicated to the trafficking of illegal cigarettes in Mexico City.

The former policemen of the State of Jalisco, Rogelio Andrade Sánchez, former director of the Rural Police and in charge of the Integral Communications Center (911); Amado Ortiz Bernal, former commander of the Unique Force and his brother Luis Ortiz Bernal. Another former police officer whose bank accounts were frozen is former federal Juan Daniel Calva Tapia, whose name came up in 2016 after the kidnapping of the children of drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán in Puerto Vallarta.

Meanwhile, a series of tequila companies that give meaning to the name of the operation "Agave Azul", are listed and with locks lightened by amparo lawsuits. These are Supreme Tequila, Agaves Finos Los Altos, Tequilera Dinastía Arandina, Casa Casco Viejo and Agavera Alteña , among others. Agricultural and financing companies such as Agroval del Sur, Agua y Campo, Grupo Alimenticio de Arandas, AFIX Servicios Financieros, FINPO SOFOM and Prestomátic .