While Central American businesses assume the costs of the bureaucracy associated with money laundering controls, big banks are granted a license to steal.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


The United States has lost the moral authority in the fight against drug trafficking, and countries who suffer in the drug war, should taken that into account.

The paltry fine imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice on the British bank HSBC and the non-prosecution of its directors-for engaging in money laundering of a criminal nature, confirms the hypocrisy of officials in the country which is the largest consumer of drugs in the world, and whose State Department claims the right to maintain lists of countries that "do not cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking" for reasons such as "not implementing sufficient control procedures for money laundering in their banking systems."

Central America not only suffers the human and economic costs of being the scene of the drug wars, but also suffers from the increased financial bureaucracy caused by money laundering controls on honest entrepreneurs, while -as seen in the case of the fine to HSBC -financial criminals who are "too big to jail" receive carte blanche to continue increasing their income by laundering dollars for organized crime.

An article in Prensa.com contains a summary of the topic, highlighting the views of former officials of the U.S. Department of Justice and other analysts, politicians and American academics.

By way of example:

"Sen. Jeff Merkley sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, in which he said that the Government 'seems to have set a strong precedent that no bank or any bank employee or executive can be prosecuted for serious criminal action if the bank is a large and important institution for the financial system '. "

Neil Barofsky, another general ex-inspector of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, argued that large banks could interpret the results of this case as a sign that they have a "license to steal".

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