by Jeremy Paner
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the Peruvian Narco-Terrorist group, the Shining Path (a.k.a. Sendero Luminoso) and three of its leaders as significant narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. These designations follow the July 2014 indictment of these narco-terrorists by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and for Narco-Terrorism Conspiracy in violation of 21 U.S.C. 960a. The State Department added this group to its list of FTOs in 1997 and it has been on the Specially Designated Nationals List (the SDN List, commonly referred to as the OFAC list) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist since 2011.
It is important to note that section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the FTO designation authority) does not grant authority to designate support networks or business owned by listed terrorist organizations. Although Executive Order 13224 (the Specially Designated Global Terrorist authority) allows for OFAC to designate these networks, Treasury has not exercised this authority for a variety of reasons. This is due in part to the perception within the U.S. government that intelligence gathered on terrorist groups is far more sensitive than information relating to narcotics trafficking activities.