The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday added Guillermo Leon Valencia Cossio, ex-head of the Prosecutor General’s Office in Medellin, to a list of Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers banned from doing business with U.S. citizens.
The former official, who is the brother of ex-Interior and Justice Minister Fabio Valencia Cossio, is accused of having ties with drug trafficker Daniel Rendon, alias “Don Mario.” Guillermo Leon Valencia Cossio was arrested in 2008 for his alleged links to Don Mario, and he was forced out as Medellín’s head prosecutor following Cambio magazine’s publication of transcripts of taped conversations between the two men.
“Today’s designation targets Guillermo Leon Valencia Cossio for his abuse of power as a public official in Colombia on behalf of Daniel Rendon Herrera’s drug trafficking organization,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin.
The blacklist, which is made by the Office of Foreign Assets Control within the U.S. Treasury Department, names over 750 people and businesses who are judged to have financial ties to drug trafficking. It is also known as the Clinton List, because it was created by U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Those on the list face economic sanctions, including the freezing of assets under U.S. jurisdiction, and cannot do business with U.S. citizens.
Last Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama ordered the continuation of the Kingpin List, which contains many other Colombians, claiming they pose an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”
In a letter to Congress, Obama explained that the 1995 Executive Order to freeze bank accounts and seize assets of Colombian drug lords should be extended.
The Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, or Kingpin Act, under which Valencia Cossio was sanctioned, was passed in 1999 and modeled on the 1995 executive order.