Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Exceptions to exceptionalism

We just started talking about Central America in my Latin American Politics course.  I begin by discussing some of the issues that all the countries face, then explain the ways in which Costa Rica is exceptional.  The idea that Costa Rica is different is pretty deeply ingrained, so in recent years it has been disconcerting to see more exceptions to that exceptionalism.  From InSight:

More money is laundered through Costa Rica than any other Central American country, according to a study presented by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE).
Of the estimated $14 billion laundered in Central American countries between 2000 and 2009, more than $4 billion passed through Costa Rica’s financial sector,

Just another example of how overwhelming the drug trade can be.  A troubling addition is that DTOs have latched on to remittance financial institutions as a way to launder money.  Governments have been working for years to make it easier to send remittances, which then opens up the door to illegal money.


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