April 12 Mexico is preparing to implement new
regulations that will allow the government to identify
individuals and businesses linked to drug trafficking and ban
financial firms from doing business with them, the finance
minister said on Saturday.
Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said banking
authorities would provide further details in coming days.
"For the first time, we have the capacity to issue a list
and this list will impede any financial institution from
carrying out transactions with these people," Videgaray told a
news conference in Washington D.C., according to a transcript.
The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
periodically issues blacklists of individuals and businesses
alleged to be laundering drug gang profits.
Mexico's powerful cartels launder billions of dollars a year
made by shipping illegal drugs to the United States. U.S.
authorities have hailed Mexico's efforts to fight drug gangs and
take down major drug lords, but they have also criticized a lack
of action to dismantle cartel finances.
Videgaray said individuals identified by OFAC, or in a
similar list put out by the United Nations, could end up being
sanctioned in Mexico but that his administration would not
necessarily implement all U.S.-identified targets.
(Reporting by Krista Hughes; Writing by Michael O'Boyle;
Editing by Paul Tait)