WASHINGTON – The
U.S. Department of the Treasury announced today the removal of the Colombian
professional soccer team America de Cali (also known as Corporacion Deportiva
America) from the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons
(SDN List). Treasury designated the America de Cali team on June 8, 1999,
pursuant to Executive Order 12978 of 1995, “Blocking Assets and Prohibiting
Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers,” because it was under the
ownership or control of Cali Cartel leaders Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez
Orejuela and other designated individuals.
Because that is no longer the case, the Treasury Department today is
delisting America de Cali and U.S. persons will now be allowed to enter into
financial transactions with the ownership of the team and any assets that they
may have had in the U.S. are now unblocked.
“Today’s lifting of the designation of America de Cali is a
testament to the enormous efforts made in recent years by both the team and the
Colombian government to completely break with the criminal influences that have
overshadowed the team in the past,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and
Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.
“As we continue our work with the Colombian government to combat the
threat of narcotics trafficking, we will use our authorities to target those
responsible for illicit behavior just as we will lift sanctions in cases where
there has been a concrete change in behavior.”
The soccer team’s corporate entity recently completed a
transparent process of restructuring and bankruptcy procedures under the
oversight of the Colombian government that included a vigorous due diligence
process on all prospective shareholders and corporate officers. The results of this process demonstrated that
America de Cali has cut its ties with designated parties, allowing Treasury to
proceed with removing the team from the SDN List.
The removal of America de Cali from the SDN List
demonstrates that entities may be, and regularly are, removed from the SDN List
when circumstances warrant. A designated
party may petition Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for the
removal of its name from the SDN List.
In general, proof of changes in circumstances and behavior is key to
OFAC removing a person or entity from the SDN List.