Anti-money laundering & combating the financing of terrorism

This excerpt is from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF; GAFI in Spanish), a report made available back in June 2011, Bolivian performance follows:

“The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is the global standard setting body for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). In order to protect the international financial system from ML/FT risks and to encourage greater compliance with the AML/CFT standards, the FATF identified jurisdictions that have strategic deficiencies and works with them to address those deficiencies that pose a risk to the international financial system.”

“Jurisdictions with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies that have not made sufficient progress in addressing the deficiencies or have not committed to an action plan developed with the FATF to address the deficiencies** The FATF calls on its members to consider the risks arising from the deficiencies associated with each jurisdiction, … Bolivia falls under this category along with Cuba, Ethiopia, Kenya, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Turkey” [note we fall under a special group of countries; after this week’s meeting Santo Tome, Principe and Nigeria were included in this group]


“Despite Bolivia’s high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and GAFISUD to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies, Bolivia has not made sufficient progress in implementing its action plan, and certain strategic AML/CFT deficiencies remain. Bolivia should work on addressing these deficiencies including by: (1) ensuring adequate criminalisation of money laundering (Recommendation 1); (2) adequately criminalising terrorist financing (Special Recommendation II); (3) establishing and implementing an adequate legal framework for identifying and freezing terrorist assets (Special Recommendation III); and (4) establishing a fully operational and effective Financial Intelligence Unit (Recommendation 26). The FATF encourages Bolivia to address its remaining deficiencies and continue the process of implementing its action plan, including by continuing to work on its AML/CFT legislation.”,3746,en_32250379_32236992_48263734_1_1_1_1,00.html#bolivia

On Sunday, October 30, 2011 Los Tiempos reports this worrying issue [violence, crime repercussions like bribery, pay-offs could undermine Bolivia’s sociopolitical stability]; Bolivia has failed to convince its pairs at the FATF’s Paris meeting about progress made on this important international matter.

In June, current Bolivian government did not say anything about FATF’s report, only in September, after more than two months of silence; finally expressed its concern to implement the recommendations for the fight against money laundering with the approval on a law in the Assembly, weeks before the meeting in France.

Now, the government remains quiet about it. Even though minister Luis Arce arrived from Paris last Wednesday, he did not report about the results of this international meeting. Los Tiempos has sent on Monday, written questions regarding this subject to the MInistry of Economics and haven’t heard from them yet.

Globalization is a fact of life, Bolivia must comply with all international accords; failing to do so will not only turn us into pariahs but will affect our economy.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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