Latin America Advisor

Financial Services Advisor

A Daily Publication of The Dialogue

How Well Is Latin America Fighting Money Laundering?

Among the officials present at the counterterrorism summit in Bogotá last month were U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L), Colombian President Iván Duque (C) and Colombian Foreign Minister Claudia Blum (R). // Photo: @SecPompeo via Twitter.

Representatives of Western Hemisphere nations pledged on Jan. 20 at a counterterrorism summit in Bogotá to work to fight terrorism through a “holistic approach” that includes cutting off its financing through money laundering. How well are countries in Latin America and the Caribbean currently fighting money laundering, and what more needs to be done? How big of a problem is laundering money for the financing of terrorism in the region? How effectively are financial services providers and government agencies cooperating on the issue?

Michael Diaz, managing partner, and Javier Coronado, associate attorney, both at Diaz, Reus & Targ: “The region is on fire, and the response is woefully weak. Countries continue to face gaps in the effective prosecution of money laundering, as well as in complying with ownership information and customer due diligence requirements. Evasion of detection and active concealment have increased. The expertise in detecting complex financial crimes is constantly confronted by the growth and sophistication of the informal networks used by money launderers. New technologies and the rapid use of mobile payments and virtual currencies have created additional risks. The region faces additional challenges stemming the tide of illicit proceeds from narcotics trafficking, public corruption, contraband smuggling, tax evasion, illegal gold mining and logging, and other crimes. The expansion of Hezbollah’s activity in the Tri-Border Area between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, and in Venezuela, combined with the endurance of terrorist organizations such as Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) and Sendero Luminoso, should spur further cooperation between government agencies and…”

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About the Financial Services Advisor

Covering Latin America’s banking and insurance sectors, remittances trends and data, micro lending issues, new technologies in the industry, anti-money laundering regulations, and much more, the Inter-American Dialogue’s biweekly Financial Services Advisor, a sister publication of the Latin America Advisor, gives readers fresh insight and diverse viewpoints from financial sector leaders. To subscribe or for more information, contact Erik Brand, publisher of the Advisor, at

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