Colombia’s National Commerce Federation (Fenalco) expressed concern Tuesday that 70 of the 258 companies added during 2010 to the U.S. “Clinton’s list” of drug traffickers and money launderers are Colombian.
Fenalco is reportedly concerned not just by the number of Colombian companies added to the list – which names companies barred from doing business with American companies or citizens – but also by the type of companies on the list, reports La Republica.
According to the list, money launderers are diversifying their activities and entering new sectors of the Colombian economy. This, Fenalco explained, brings the risk to all sectors of becoming instruments of drug cartels trying to launder illicit profits.
Hernando Ruiz Lopez, who is responsible for overseeing Colombian companies, explained to RCN TV on Monday that Colombia’s financial services sector, which has traditionally been a target industry for money launderers, has been strengthened, but that other industries still remain attractive to the launderers.
To protect companies who might otherwise become unwitting pawns of drug cartels, Lopez and Fenalco urge companies to not be blinded by the possibility of high profits, and to research who they do business with.
Clinton’s List is a U.S. Treasury Department policy which began in 1995 when then-President Bill Clinton issued an executive order to prevent foreigners who traffic drugs and launder money from doing business in the U.S. or with American citizens.
In March of this year, the U.S. government added 15 Colombians and eight Colombian companies to the list, designating them as “Specially designated narcotics traffickers,” for their ties to Colombian narcotics trafficker Daniel Rendon Herrera, alias “Don Mario”.