Mexican authorities are not releasing the names of the 26 individuals and entities whose assets were frozen as part of a new probe into migrant caravans and cartel-linked human smuggling organizations. The investigation was moved into high gear this week as tensions between the U.S. and Mexico escalated over tariff threats as a punitive measure for lax immigration enforcement.
On Thursday, Mexico’s Finance and Tax Secretariat (SHCP) announced the seizure of 26 accounts, including some from the United Kingdom and the U.S., which allegedly helped fund the northbound migrant caravans largely from Central America. Diplomatic sources consulted by Breitbart News revealed the probe is personally led by UIF Director Santiago Nieto Castillo, who directly briefs Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The SHCP’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) tracked suspicious transactions beginning in October 2018 to determine the sources of funding for the caravans. The results reportedly pointed to some monies coming from the U.S., U.K., African nations, and throughout Central America. Diplomatic sources revealed the investigation is still developing since the case was prioritized Monday as tensions over tariffs escalated.
The freezes came at the same time Mexican authorities arrested two primary organizers of the caravans who allegedly maintain ties to the U.S.-based Pueblo Sin Fronteras. Mexican authorities claim the organizers would demand money from some migrants seeking to illegally enter the U.S.
Law enforcement sources revealed to Breitbart News that the UIF investigation found four sanctioned accounts linked to human smuggling groups loyal to cartels in border cities. Two accounts were traced to Piedras Negras with links to the Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas and an independent smuggler in that area. Two other accounts exhibit ties to Gulf Cartel operators in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Border / Cartel Chronicles. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Border / Cartel Chronicles. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Aranda from the Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report.