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Mexican leftist presidential candidate vows financial crime crackdown

Mexican leftist presidential candidate vows financial crime crackdown
From Reuters - November 21, 2017

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican leftist presidential frontrunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has pledged in his manifesto to clamp down on financial crime, and tighten money laundering, banking and tax regulations if elected next July.

Lopez Obrador, the 64-year-old former mayor of Mexico City and a two-time presidential candidate, on Monday unveiled his 2018 policy platform, vowing to boost infrastructure spending while preserving economic stability.

In his 415-page manifesto, published late on Monday, the founder of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party said he would combat money laundering by tightening controls on the banking system, including tougher sanctions for public officials convicted of financial crimes, a new conflict-of-interest law and longer sentences for tax offenses.

Banks and financial institutions arent victims, but rather those principally responsible for, and benefiting from, the total lack of control in money laundering, the proposal said.

Lopez Obradors plan also aims to ensure transparency in sworn-wealth declarations and to block the right to confidential information for people under investigation for financial crimes.

AMLO, as he is known locally, has sought to deflect accusations that he would pursue Venezuela-style socialist policies if elected, vowing instead to clean up the countrys graft-stained politics.

Mexicos government estimates that the drug trade, tax fraud and other crimes are worth at least 1.13 trillion pesos ($58.5 billion) a year in Mexico, with all of the funds susceptible to money laundering, according to a classified report seen by Reuters in October.

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