Money Laundering Prevention - (America Latina)

Money Laundering Prevention - (America Latina)

Money Laundering prevention and laws are very stringent in the Latin America. Many of the countries in the region have strict laws against money laundering and have tried to implement best international practices for its prevention. The efforts and rules made by Financial Action Task Force and its members in the region have a great role in improving and enforcing strict money laundering laws and regulations.

Regional Laws against Money Laundering in Latin American countries


Brazil’s Anti-Money Laundering Law (Law No. 9613/98) was Brazil’s first law against money laundering. It has defined money laundering as the concealment of location, disposition of assets, or values that result in a criminal offence. The law criminalized money laundering related to arms trafficking, terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime. The law also created a Financial Intelligence unit with representatives from various sectors such as the Central Bank, the Securities Commission, and the Superintendence of Private Insurance to look after money laundering in each of their sectors. In 2003, with the creation of National Strategy Against Corruption and Money Laundering, the Brazilian government ramped its enforcement efforts of the law. In the latest amendment to the law in 2019, the government of Brazil increased the anti money laundering compliances to notaries and registrars.


In January 2018, Uruguay updated its anti money laundering laws by introduction of Law No. 19,574. This change was brought to consolidate all the previous money laundering provisions in Uruguay into one act. The law has laid down that the following organizations have to be anti money laundering compliant: certified public accountants, corporate services providers, free trade zone indirect users, notaries, and non-profit organizations, such as political parties, churches, and soccer clubs. The law states that to be compliant the organizations have to do a proper due diligence of their clients. They also have to file a written risk assessment while taking in clients. One of the most noteworthy changes brought about by the new law is the increase in predicate offences which are a part of money laundering such as larceny, robbery, tax fraud, customs fraud, bankruptcy fraud, etc. The new law in Uruguay has led to noticeable results on the ground with an AML index released by Basel Institute on Governance in 2019 showing Uruguay to having one of lowest money laundering risks in the Latin America.

Dominican Republic

To bring the Dominican Republic anti money laundering provisions upto global standards, the Executive power of the country enacted a new law named as Anti-money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act 155-17 in 2017. The main aim of the law was to bring up the Dominican Republic anti money laundering practices upto international best practices and global standards of transparency and availability of detailed information regarding economic agents. The new law has expanded the money laundering detection regulations on several agencies such as the Financial Analysis Unit, the Monetary Board, the Insurance Superintendence, the Securities Superintendence, etc. The law has also increased the number of infractions that would constitute money laundering.

It can be concluded by saying that many of the Latin American countries take money laundering prevention quite strictly and they regularly update existing laws to curb of the spread of the offence.

Marino A. Marrero B. - Abogado. CEO de Mercantil Financial Group