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Guadalajara is the money laundering capital of Mexico

June 14, 2015
Lucrecia closed in January, 13 months after being designated for money laundering by the US Treasury Department.

Lucrecia closed 13 months after being designated for money laundering by the US Treasury Department.

There was nothing unusual about the fresas, or preppy rich kids, who used to order liquor by the bottle and dance to electronic beats behind the stone and glass façade of Guadalajara’s trendy Lucrecia nightclub. But the first indication that something untoward was happening at the club came in March 2013, when unidentified customers shot the head waiter eight times on their way out.

The shooting drew unwelcome attention to Lucrecia. Thirteen months later, the US government blacklisted it for allegedly laundering dirty money on behalf of veteran drug cartel capo Rafael Caro Quintero.

The bar finally closed down in January this year, saying with a Facebook post: “Legends never die!” But there are plenty of other places in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, that are believed to be helping drug gangs launder their illicit profits.

The luxury Zotogrande residential complex was linked to veteran kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero.

The luxury Zotogrande residential complex was linked to veteran kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero.

Consequently, Tapatios, as Guadalajara natives are known, can never be sure when they shop, eat, drink, dance, fill up their gas tanks, or even pay their rent if they may be inadvertently helping the Jalisco New Generation cartel and other gangs that have terrorized the population and paralyzed the city with narco-blockades.

Click here to read this feature in full at VICE News. 

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