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Rafa Marquez Leaves World Cup a Hero but Narco Cloud Continues to Get Darker for Him

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Rafael “Rafa” Marquez, one of Mexico’s greatest futbol players, is hanging up his World Cup cleats as Mexico lost to Brazil yesterday in a 2-0 defeat. Yes the big news was Mexico’s elimination and inability to make it past round 16, in the last seven World Cups but Marquez’ future will end up being bigger news, narco news, in the months to come.

Marquez leaves Russia making World Cup history being one of just four players to be part of five World Cups – 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018. He also holds the record for the most Mexican national team World Cup matches played at 16. This incredible feat comes on top of his club soccer record playing for Atlas FC in 132 matches, and his four La Liga titles with Barcelona.

The 39-year-old Zambora, Mexico native has also made another elite list, a blacklist owned by the U.S. Treasury Department for allegedly being a front man for uber-narco Raul Flores Hernandez for decades.

As Marquez returns to Mexico he claims he will continue the fight to clear his name something Marquez claimed he would do quickly after the Treasury announcement was made last August. And in nearly a year since that announcement Marquez has only been able to “unfreeze” two accounts in U.S. banks that operate in Mexico.

Since August, Marquez U.S. assets and bank accounts in the U.S. have been frozen and no U.S. enterprise can come near him due to his narco taint. The superstar player therefore could not play in this World Cup with branded gear, could not wear the same uniform as the rest of El Tri as the Mexican national team is known and had to be provided housing that had no U.S. affiliation. Mexican national team sponsors like Coca-Cola, Adidas and Citibanamex (division of Citibank) could not be associated with Marquez during his World Cup play or when he returns to Mexico.

But what await him back home maybe worse, thanks to Flores Hernandez, a U.S. extradition request and a new Mexican president.

Flores Hernandez, who currently is sitting in a Mexican jail, is an independent narco trafficker according to the U.S. government. They allege he is a cocaine trafficker since the early 1980s and a master money launderer who “maintains strategic alliances with the leadership of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel and the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación.” These two cartels are in a full raging war that Flores Hernandez and therefore his associates will be caught in the middle of. And unfortunately Marquez can’t seek refuge in the states like he did in 2010 when he played for the New York Red Bulls – his U.S. visa has been revoked and the U.S. government would be very interested in talking to Mr. Marquez should he happen to come here.

More importantly the U.S. is seeking the extradition of Flores Hernandez so they can take a further look at his holdings and friends, and the newly elected Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador might just ship him out something past Mexican presidents have been adverse to doing. Lets not forget that current Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto sent Joaquin ‘El Chapo” Guzman to the U.S. as a gift to the new U.S. President Donald Trump - an extradition request he had previously denied.

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HSN Staff Writers

HSN staff writers are a group of enthusiastic and talented creative-types that generate great story lines and write about current events with a distinctively Latino voice always respecting the audience it writes for.

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