In the wake of a U.S. government press release singling him out as having ties with drug kingpin Raul Flores Hernandez, regional Mexican star Julion Alvarez categorically denied the accusations.
During a lengthy press conference that took place Aug. 10 in Mexico, Alvarez appeared congenial and relaxed as he calmly tackled media questions and asserted again and again that he was a “hard working man” with “nothing to hide.”
Alvarez, one of the top-selling acts in the genre, was linked to Mexican drugpin Flores Hernandez and the Flores Drug Trafficking Organization by the U.S. Department of Treasury.
In a release issued Aug. 9 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Flores was identified as a “significant foreign narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).
Alvarez and 21 other people, including soccer star Rafael Marquez, were designated for “providing support to the narcotics trafficking activities of Raul Flores Hernandez and the Flores DTO and/or for being owned or controlled by the Flores DTO, its members, and trusted associates.”
According to the release, this is the largest single Kingpin Act action against a Mexican drug cartel network to date.
It was not immediately clear how this designation would affect Alvarez’s touring and recording business. In his press conference, Alvarez said he had “no information of frozen assets or any legal action. If my attorneys say I have to testify in the U.S., I will go.” See full press conference in Spanish here:
However, according to the U.S. Treasure office, “all assets of the individuals and entities designated that are under U.S. jurisdiction or are in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.”
Alvarez, who is signed to Fonovisa, Universal Music Latin Entertainment’s regional Mexican label, is one of the genre’s top sellers and this week, his album Ni Diablo ni santo (Not Devil Nor Saint) Is at No. 9 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. He is also a top touring act, both here and in Mexico.
While Alvarez denied having any business dealings with Flores, he did admit he had met him years before in La Camelia, a now-defunct club in Guadalajara. However, he denied knowing Flores was involved in drug dealing and set he had met him as a concert promoter.
When asked if he was Flores’ business partner, he replied: “I don’t have the need, thanks to God and all I’ve accomplished, to have partners.”