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BRIEF

Money Laundering Threatens Colombia’s Elections

COLOMBIA / 25 MAR 2011 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN
  • Colombia‘s government warned that drug traffickers may launch fake campaigns in the October local elections in order to launder their profits, Caracol reports. The authorities said that infiltration of the elections could occur in two forms: either by criminal groups backing a candidate who has no chance of being elected, to “clean” dirty money through the campaign, or by supporting high profile candidates in an attempt to win political control of an area.
  • El Espectador reports on new methods adopted by traffickers to move drugs out of Latin America, by dissolving cocaine in liquids like shampoo or wine. This week three foreigners were captured in Medellin, Colombia, with liquid cocaine inside their bodies. Transporting cocaine in this form makes it difficult to detect, both by body scans and by drug dogs.
  • The New American magazine reports on growing concerns about Mexican drug-trafficking gangs’ operations in Central America. The isthmus is increasingly becoming not just a transit point for drugs, but also a territory dominated by cartels and suffering from drug violence. This has led to increased problems with money laundering and drug consumption in the region, according to the report. President Obama, on his three-country, five-day tour of Latin America, promised $200 million in aid to combat drug trafficking and crime in Central America.
  • In other news, 40 Mexican media groups have decided to establish guidelines on the publication of images of violence and drug trafficking, to avoid glorifying criminals or spreading propaganda from the cartels. El Excelsior reports that the groups made the agreement in order to prevent themselves being turned into spokespeople for organized criminal interests.
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