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Treasury sanctions Colombian drug trafficking queen ‘La Patrona’

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified Zulma Maria Musso Torres (Musso Torres) as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act)

Source: U.S. Treasury Department

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration imposed sanctions Thursday on Zulma Maria Musso Torres, the notorious woman in charge of an international drug trafficking empire based in Colombia.

Musso Torres, 58, is said to control “strategically located maritime corridors in northern Colombia and collects a per kilogram tax from narcotics traffickers for protection and safe passage of multi-ton shipments of narcotics,” according to a statement from Treasury.

Also known as “La Patrona” or “La Senora,” Musso Torres oversees the logistics of transporting cocaine from Colombia to the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico.

Treasury also designated her two sons, Washington Antunez Musso and Juan Carlos Reales Britto, as well as her husband, Luis Antonio Bermudez Mejia, for providing material support to her narcotics organization.

Two Colombian entities were also designated on Thursday, agricultural trading company Exclusive Import Export S.A.S. and firearm shooting range Poligono Santa Marta S.A.S., that are believed to be owned, controlled or act on behalf of her sons.

“Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) will continue to work with its interagency partners to identify, target, and disrupt the most significant drug trafficking organizations facilitating the shipment of drugs to the United States,” OFAC Director Andrea Gacki said in a statement.

“Today’s designation of Musso Torres and members of her organization serve as a reminder that Colombian cocaine continues to pose a major threat to the United States,” Gacki added.

The sanctions come as the Biden administration works to expand counter-drug cooperation throughout the Western Hemisphere while also investing in policies aimed at promoting alternative agricultural livelihoods.

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