Here's a read for your Sunday morning coffee. Bloomberg goes deep on cases of major U.S. or multinational banks all but knowingly allowing the laundering of Mexican narco money for years on end, and for millions upon millions of dollars in bloody profits. Here is the printable version of the piece (at 13 pages).
Banks implicated include: Wachovia, Bank of America, Citigroud, HSBC, Santander, and Western Union.
The Bloomberg story, by reporter Michael Smith, lays out how narco cartels regularly transfer millions in U.S. cash drug profits down into Mexico through transfers and small currency exchange transactions. They in turn use the money to fund their trafficking operations, including buying airplanes to shuttle cocaine up to the U.S. from South America.
The big banks, for the most part, turn a blind eye. Meanwhile, Mexican President Felipe Calderon this week signaled a willingness to "debate" legalization of drugs in Mexico. Between that, the money laundering, and the lack of a visible dent in the flow of the drugs to the U.S. ... Makes you wonder if all those tens of thousands of deaths so far are in vain, don't it?
* Coming up soon: Issues, Realities, and Solutions in Mexico's drug war.