Gafisud

The international organization

The Financial Action Task Force of Latin America (GAFILAT) is a regionally based inter governmental organization that gathers 16 countries from South America, Central America and North America in order to combat money laundering and terrorist financing by means of a commitment for continuous improvement of the national policies against both scourges, and the enhancement of different cooperation mechanisms among its member countries.

It was formally created on 8th December 2000 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia when the Memorandum of Understanding was signed by government representatives from nine countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Mexico (2006), Costa Rica and Panama (2010), Cuba (2012), Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (2013) have since joined as plenary members.

The group has legal capacity and diplomatic status in the Argentine Republic where its Secretariat is located.


 
Purpose

GAFILAT is a regional group that belongs to the international network of organizations that fight to prevent and to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
The core of this network is GAFI/FATF whose venue is in OECD in Paris.
That organization set out the 40 Recommendations - the international standards - that all its member countries are committed to implementing in their national legislation.

The FATF consists of 36 member countries and 8 FATF style regional bodies as associate organizations.

GAFILAT was created in the style of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) accepting the 40 FATF Recommendations as an international standard against money laundering and terrorist financing, and the development of enhanced Recommendations to improve the national policies against those crimes.


Its internal structure

Its constituent parts are the Plenary of Representatives Its delegates are appointed by each member state and it is chaired by the President who is elected by the Plenary among its members. They remain in office for one year. The Plenary meets twice a year and its role is:

- To assess, discuss and, if so were the case, to approve all the resolutions.
- To approve the budget
- To approve the annual report
- To control the action plan approved
- To appoint the Executive Secretary, to approve the structure and other functions ot the Secretariat
- To approve the standards of the procedure
- To accept the incorporation of new members and observers
- To decide on the sanction of one of its members
, the Plenary of Representatives It is GAFILAT´s top organization and it consists of one representative from each member state that has maximum responsibility in money laundering issues. It meets when the Plenary deems it convenient or necessary for the approval of projects that call for a high degree of political or institutional support. , Council of Authorities and the Working Groups They are made up of representatives from member countries and are endorsed by the Executive Secretariat. They produce the main input for the creation and compliance of the objectives set forth in the annual action programmes. All their decisions must be approved by the Plenary or Representatives. These groups are:

Working Group for Training and Development Its contents are linked to the creation and implementation of strategic training plans, technical assistance and institutional strengthening.

Working Group for Mutual Evaluations They deal with process analysis and evaluation methodology, preparation of advance reports for the follow up process.

Working Group for Operational Support They generate enhancement mechanisms for inter institutional cooperation among the authorities of the AML/CFT system of the different member countries. They coordinate the Asset Recovery Network (RAGG)
.
The government of Uruguay offered the group its training centre for money laundering in Montevideo.

The Federal Republic of Germany, the Inter American Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, Canada, the Kingdom of Spain, the United States of America, the Republic of Guatemala, the Republic of France, the Organization of American States, represented by the Inter American Commission against Drug Abuse (CICAD) and the Inter American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), the United Nations Organization, represented by the Office against Drug and Crime, and the Secretariat of the Committee against Terrorism of the Security Council, Interpol and the Republic of Portugal participate as observers.

The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (GAFIC/CFATF) and the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APGML) attend meetings as associate organizations.


Activities
GAFILAT supports its members in the implementation of the 40 Recommendations as national legislation and the creation of a regional prevention system against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The two main tools are training GAFILAT provides training for all public agents (judges, prosecutors, police, supervisors, and Financial Intelligence Units) of member countries in all prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing related issues. The Executive Secretariat, in cooperation with countries and observer organizations, organizes training courses.

There is a Course for Evaluators on an annual basis. It targets basic training for public agents of member countries that want to be a part of an evaluation mission. Apart from the content of the 40 Recommendations, a manual for evaluation criteria, interview techniques and preparing an evaluation report are part of the items taught. In order to participate of a mutual evaluation it is mandatory to have attended and passed the training course.

Since 2010 GAFILAT has organized Special Workshops for Evaluators. These advanced courses target participants of the initial course who have already participated in an evaluation mission. Courses intend to delve on the different issues and exchange experiences such as the analysis of the items included for evaluation.

Typology seminars are delivered every 2 years. Real cases presented by member countries are discussed and analyzed.

10 courses a year, following the request of member countries, are organized in collaboration with the Kingdom of Spain.
measures and mutual evaluations.