U.S. blacklists sons of 'Chapo' Guzman, fugitive Mexican drug lord

  The U.S. Treasury Department added two sons of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to its "designated kingpin" list, which bars all U.S. companies, banks and individuals from doing business with them
MEXICO CITY -- The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday added two sons of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to its "designated kingpin" list, which bars all U.S. companies, banks and individuals from doing business with them.

The sons, Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar, 31, and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 22, play "significant" roles in their father's vast drug-trafficking empire, officials said in a statement. Guzman Salazar was arrested by Mexican authorities in 2005 on money-laundering charges but released, the statement added.

The blacklisting also freezes any assets the men might have under U.S. jurisdiction. "Chapo" Guzman, a fugitive billionaire and Mexico's most-wanted criminal, has been on the kingpin list for a decade. He heads Mexico's largest and oldest cartel, based in the Pacific state of Sinaloa. In 2005, the U.S. offered a $5-million reward for information leading to his arrest.

The U.S. government has held up its blacklisting program as one of its main tactics for fighting powerful drug cartels. More than 1,000 individuals and companies have been targeted. However, an investigation last year by The Times showed that many blacklisted firms and people continue to thrive and do business in Mexico, relatively undeterred.

The senior Guzman has numerous children by several women, including twin girls born last year in Southern California with a former beauty queen he married when she was 18.

Targeting two of his sons appears to be part of a drive to penetrate Guzman's inner circle. A number of senior aides have been arrested recently, and authorities report near-misses in capturing the capo himself.

The Treasury Department "will aggressively target those individuals who facilitate Chapo Guzman's drug-trafficking operations, including family members," Adam J. Szubin, head of the blacklisting program that operates under what is officially known as the Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in the statement. "With the Government of Mexico, we are firm in our resolve to dismantle Chapo Guzman's drug trafficking organization."


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-- Tracy Wilkinson

Photo: In a 2005 wanted poster for Joaquin Guzman, U.S. authorities offer a bounty of $5 million. Credit: U.S. Justice Department

Chinese company builds 30-story building in 15 days [video]

A Chinese company has built a 30-story hotel in just 15 days, a feat that leaves Western architects speechless, The Times’ Jonathan Kaiman writes.

It’s a stunning example of China's building boom. Watch it for yourself: The YouTube video above shows the prefabricated building speeding toward completion in Changsha.

How is it possible to put up a high-rise so fast? Kaiman writes that the prefabricated building was mostly created in a factory. The foundation was laid ahead of time. And China has lots of workers to get the job done.

The company, Broad Sustainable Building, boasts that its technology is “the most profound innovation in human history.” But other architects question the safety and oversight for a building constructed so fast.

Broad Sustainable is looking beyond China: The company is hoping to partner in the United States and says it is also working out deals with firms in Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and India, Kaiman reports.

If 15 days still seems like an eternity to you, Broad Sustainable has gotten some projects done even quicker. Two years ago, the same company built a 15-story hotel in two days. Watch it happen:

Then there's the Broad Pavilion for the Shanghai World Expo two years ago, built in a single day:


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-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles


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