Sanctions lifted on Colombian citizens suspected of drug trafficking

Previously, the Colombians' assets and property in the United States were frozen, and they were prevented from accessing the American financial market.

In a statement to The Hill, a Treasury Department spokesman said that the lifting of sanctions "is evidence of the fair process of administrative review," and highlights that sanctions are not always permanent.

The spokesman added, "This removal action should not be viewed as addressing possible criminal activity in which any of these individuals may be, or have been, involved."

The announcement comes two days before President Obama heads to Mexico and Costa Rica to meet with a number of Central American leaders. The international drug trade is likely to be a top issue for discussion in those meetings.

The State Department's annual report on drug control, issued in March, found that the Colombian government "continues to make important progress in its fight against the production and trafficking of illicit drugs." The country is still "a major source for cocaine," however, and criminal organizations involved in the drug trade "are active throughout much of the country."

On Tuesday the Treasury Department also lifted sanctions against Hessam Khoshnevis, a commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard who was killed by rebels in Syria in February.