On March 18, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated the Los Huistas Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) and seven of its leaders as the result of collaborative efforts between several US government agencies and Guatemala’s department of Huehuetenango (along the border of Guatemala and Mexico). The designations were made pursuant to EO 14059, which targets persons involved in the international proliferation of illegal drugs or their means of production. According to OFAC, the designations are in response to Los Huistas DTO’s production of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin that it smuggles from the Guatemalan border, through Mexico, and into the United States with the help of previously-designated Mexican organizations such as the Sinaloa Cartel and Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG).
As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of today’s designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons unless authorized by OFAC. US persons may also face civil or criminal penalties for violating EO 14059.