Rafa Márquez Breaks Silence, Denies Drug Trafficking Link

Rafa Márquez
The Mexican soccer star has broken his silence following his ties to a drug lord. Getty Images

Rafa Márquez was cautious when taking on the scandal that erupted today that linked him along with Julión Álvarez to money laundering. "I understand the judicial situation that I am in and I will look at it with my lawyers," he said during a brief press conference. "I want to make it clear that I don't and have never participated with these organizations that I am being linked to." He also added: "I will cooperate with the government when I am asked to. I want to ask for respect towards me and my family. I thank everyone that has sent me messages of motivation and support and I will not fail you." Watch the press conference below and tell us what you think!

Earlier today, Julión Álvarez also spoke directly to his fans to deny any ties to what the U.S. Treasury is accusing him of. "I need to seek advise to see where this is coming from," he said during a Facebook Live in his ranch. "I am a countryman that knows how to do his things ... it has cost me a lot - the little or a lot of things that I have. I don't have the need to do the things that I am being accused of. You guys know who I am, I also have a lot of friends that know me, but this is part of [the industry]."

Álvarez continued his explanation: "On the day they tell me to present myself, I will be there. Rafa Márquez is one of the best soccer players and he has been playing soccer for many years, he doesn't need to be involved in this. Maybe we could team up or do it independently. I only think has something to do with envy, jealousy and success, everything that they are saying has an explanation. Let's pray and believe me that I am alright, don't worry about me."

The Mexican soccer club Atlas star, Rafa Márquez, was included in a list by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as one of the 21 Mexican nationals and 42 entities with ties to alleged drug trafficker Raúl Flores Hernández. "Raul Flores Hernandez has operated for decades because of his longstanding relationships with other drug cartels and his use of financial front persons to mask his investments of illegal drug proceeds," said OFAC Director John E. Smith.  "This major joint action reflects the U.S. government's close cooperation with our law enforcement partners in Mexico to stop the illegal flow of narcotics and to target and expose drug kingpins and those who facilitate their illicit financial networks."

Following the publication of the list, Márquez' visa has been canceled and he will not be able to come in to the U.S., that includes playing for the National Mexican soccer team or doing business. That also means that all of his bank accounts and assets have been frozen until everything is cleared up. Only time and a thorough investigation will tell if Márquez is guilty or not.

What do you think?

Armando Tinoco is an Orange County-based writer with a degree in Marketing from Cal. State Fullerton and a degree in Graphic Design from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. In addition to reporting for Latin Times and when he is not watching Brazilian and Mexican telenovelas or quoting lines from "Clueless" and "Friends" he is brushing up his skills in CSS and responsive website design. Some of his celebrity idols include Eiza Gonzalez, Paulina Rubio and Amanda Bynes.