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Colombia’s Main Banking Association Refuses to Launder FARC Guerrilla Money

By: Felipe Fernández - @Ffernandezp - Jul 7, 2017, 4:38 pm
Colombia's banking association has pledged to be vigilant regarding laundering FARC funds (
Colombia’s banking association has pledged to be vigilant regarding laundering FARC funds (Unal).

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Santiago Castro, the president of the Colombian bankers’ association Asobancaria, said that mechanisms are in place to prevent illegal funds from the FARC guerrilla group from being deposited in the financial system.

According to the association of the Colombian financial sector, money coming from illegal activities by the guerrilla group must be investigated and prosecuted by the authorities.

The Office of the Attorney General and other bodies responsible for financial and regulatory controls are currently investigating the illicit assets and funds handled by the armed group, which they are required to hand over as part of the peace process with the Colombian government.

“We will not allow money laundering on the part of the FARC. Surely the guerrillas have funds stashed away abroad, in tax havens,” said Castro.

Colombian banks “do not open bank accounts to subversive groups, nor will we launder money,” he insisted.

He emphasizes that the banking sector is committed to providing banking services for people who have demobilized, and are currently in the process of reintegration into civilian life, but once they have fulfilled that process in conjunction with the rule of law.

Castro noted his dissatisfaction with comments from some small businessmen in the country who would rather pay a peace tax than hire demobilized individuals.

“It is clear that banking is quite demanding when hiring staff, but in case these people are fully qualified to enter the sector, there is no doubt that we can count on them,” he said.

Castro’s statements took place before the launch of the Pan American Congress on Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism to be held in the coastal city of Cartagena on July 13 and 14.

Also under discussion was a proposal by the Attorney General of the Nation, Nestor Humberto Martinez, demanding that the government provide an inventory of funds and assets that are a product of extortion, drug trafficking, and other crimes, during the same time period that the FARC disarms.

The Marxist guerrilla group has been at war with the Colombian government for the better part of six decades, but has recently pledged to demobilize, lay down weapons, and reintegrate into civilian life.

Source: La FM

Felipe Fernández Felipe Fernández

Felipe Fernández is a reporter from Colombia for the PanAm Post. He's a law student at the La Gran Colombia University in Armenia. Follow him on Twitter: @Ffernandezp

Mexico’s Trade Surplus with US Surpasses Those of Germany and Japan

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jul 7, 2017, 3:18 pm
Mexico Trade

Español According to reports from the United States Census Bureau, Mexico overtook Japan and Germany with regard to its trade surplus with the United States between January and May of 2017. In the first five months of this year, Mexico's surplus was USD $30.3 billion, while  Japan stood at USD $ 28.4 billion and Germany registered USD $25 billion. Read More: Trump Doubles Down on Plan to Make Mexico Pay for Border Wall during G20 Meeting with Pena Nieto Read More: Trump Right to Renegotiate, not Rescind, US Participation in NAFTA The total sum of the surpluses of Mexico, Japan, and Germany is equivalent to more than 60% of China's surplus, which clocked in at USD $ 138.1 billion over the same period of time. China ranks first in trade surplus with the United States.   googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   "Mexico's positive balance represented a 14.2% increase over the same period in 2016, when the surplus was USD $ 26.6 billion, while Germany decreased its surplus with the United States by 6.7% in the same period" from US $ 68.9 billion to USD $ 64.9 billion. The United States recorded the largest trade deficit with China at USD $ 347 billion, followed by Japan (USD $68.9 billion, Germany USD $64.9 billion, and Mexico at USD $63.2 billion. As for US trade with Mexico, that country has a trade deficit of 12% with Mexico as a percentage of its total trade volume as established by the US Census Bureau. This percentage has been rated as "moderate" by Mexico's Economy Secretariat as it ranks 11th worldwide with respect to the largest negative balances in the United States. In 2016, the United States had its main trade deficit as a percentage of its total trade volume with Ireland (65.3%), followed by China (60%), Italy (45.9%), Germany (39.7%), India (35.9%) and Japan (35.3%). According to its Secretary of Economy, Mexico also spends a greater percentage of its GDP on buying imports from the United States than any other country in the world. Donald Trump spoke forcefully against NAFTA on the campaign trail, but thus far appears poised to modify some elements of the landmark trade agreement, rather than withdraw from it in its entirety. Source: El Economista

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