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Money Laundering

Money laundering remains a significant understudied topic within research on organized crime. The scant literature on money laundering partly relates to a lack of publicly available data from Mexican institutions responsible for anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. To date, the best available data on money laundering activities from Mexican organized criminal groups comes from the U.S. government; either through court records or the Office of Foreign Assets Control within the Department of Treasury through its counter narcotics sanction program.

In addition to the data released by the U.S. government, Mexico’s actions against money laundering have been documented in the evaluations published by the Financial Action Task Force. The most recent one from 2018 found that Mexico “faces a significant risk of money laundering, stemming principally from activities most often associated with organized crime, such as drug trafficking, extortion, corruption, and tax evasion.” Arguably, the existence of three financial intelligence units within the Mexican federal government, one in the Ministry of Public Finance and Credit and two within the Attorney General’s office exacerbates coordination issues.

Author: Cecilia Farfán

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