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OFAC Adds Current and Former Guatemalan Officials to SDN List for Engaging in Corrupt Activities

On April 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that it had sanctioned two individuals for their roles in corruption in Guatemala:

  • Gustavo Adolfo Alejos Cambara, the former Chief of Staff for the Alvaro Colom presidential administration and
  • Felipe Alejos Lorenzana, an elected delegate to the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala.

Both have been added to OFAC's Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN List).

This action was "pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world." It follows on sanctions imposed on both individuals last year by the U.S. Department of State and was in coordination with the United Kingdom which has established its own anti-corruption sanctions regime.

OFAC published a press release which includes additional background on the individuals and sanctions programs.

As Guatemala is not the subject of its own OFAC sanctions program, this action serves as an important reminder of the need to screen parties to transactions from any country, including those without specific sanctions programs or export restrictions.