IN THE LATE 20th century and into the early 21st century, organized and white-collar crime became a major issue South America. Much of this criminal activity has revolved around the illegal drug trade and associated money laundering. There have also been concerns that international terrorists will be able to take advantage of the continent's financial systems to launder money. In response to these problems, in 2002 the Inter-American Development Bank approved $1.2 billion to fight money laundering in eight South American countries. Carried out through the Organization of American States, the countries apply the funds to create or strengthen financial intelligence units that will track suspicious transactions of suspected money launders.


Most organized crime in Bolivia is related to the cocoa growing industry. Since the 1960s, ...

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