HomeNewsBriefNew Calls to Prosecute Dutch Bank for Laundering Mexican Drug Money
BRIEF

New Calls to Prosecute Dutch Bank for Laundering Mexican Drug Money

MEXICO / 3 FEB 2017 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Human rights campaigners have filed a criminal complaint against a Dutch bank accused of laundering money for drug cartels in Mexico, as civil society looks to address the failures of authorities to hold business to account for its complicity with organized crime.

Lawyers and activists filed the complaint calling on Dutch prosecutors to investigate and prosecute one of the Netherlands' biggest banks, Rabobank, over its alleged complicity with Mexican drug traffickers.

According to the complaint, Rabobank's subsidiary in Calexico, on the California side of the US-Mexico border "laundered structurally and for a long period of time the proceeds of crimes committed by Mexican drugs cartels," reported AFP.

"By doing this, they assisted the drug cartels in the commission of all their crimes, including crimes against humanity," the complaint adds.

US authorities have been investigating Rabobank for several years, attempting to build a case by proving bank personnel turned a blind eye to Mexican criminal organizations using branches to move dirty money.

However, the campaigners have urged Dutch authorities not to wait on the results of the US investigation but instead to launch their own investigation that examines not only the alleged money laundering but also the impact of this crime on the Mexican civilian population.

"The proceeds of crimes which are laundered by banks including Rabobank, those profits are re-invested in the criminal acts of the cartels," lawyer Goran Sluiter said at a press conference, AFP reported. "Thereby financial institutions contribute in a significant way to the suffering of the Mexican population."

Lawyers filed the complaint on behalf of Fernando Hernández, a Mexican residing in the Netherlands, who alleges Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel abducted and likely murdered his uncle in 2010.

InSight Crime Analysis

Numerous cases in recent years have revealed the complicity of major financial institutions in the money laundering operations of Mexican drug cartels, which have moved their criminal profits through banks such as HSBC and Wachovia.

However, despite the damning evidence uncovered in these investigations, criminal prosecutions of individuals have been noticeably absent, while sanctions for the businesses themselves have rarely amounted to much more than a slap on the wrist.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Money Laundering

The decision by activists to pressure the authorities to take further action reflects the failure of authorities to address the impunity such institutions have enjoyed regarding their complicity with organized crime.

It also adds another dimension to such cases by calling for the bank to be held responsible for the atrocities committed by Mexican criminal organizations. In this respect, the activists are following the example of family members of US citizens killed in Mexico's drug war who are suing HSBC over its role in laundering money for Mexican cartels.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EL MENCHO / 25 MAY 2022

The CJNG’s reign as Mexico’s most dominant and ruthless cartel may be showing some signs of wear.

DISPLACEMENT / 26 JUL 2021

Amid government inaction, Indigenous communities in the highlands of Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas are throwing their support behind a…

EL SALVADOR / 13 DEC 2021

Efforts to reduce gang violence are often thought of as highly dependent on local conditions, but a recent report looks…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…