Press Center

 Treasury Lifts Sanctions on Colombian Soccer Team Formerly Tied to Cali Cartel



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. 


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