US’s “Largest Money Launderer” Buys 2/3s of Mexico’s Bank Accounts

On May 17 US banking giant Citigroup announced that it was buying Mexico’s second-largest bank, Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival, for $12.5 billion in stock and cash…Mexico’s three largest banks, with
some two-thirds of the country’s bank deposits, will be under foreign control once the Citigroup deal is completed.


On May 17 US banking giant Citigroup announced that it was buying Mexico’s second-largest bank, Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival, for $12.5 billion in stock and cash.

Banamex–Banco Nacional de Mexico–was the government’s largest bank before it was privatized in 1991 by the administration of former president
Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988-1994).

Mexico’s three largest banks, with some two-thirds of the country’s bank deposits, will be under foreign control once the Citigroup deal is completed.

Citigroup includes Citibank, which has operated in Mexico since 1929 and has long had close ties with the Mexican elite.

From 1992 to 1994 Carlos Salinas’ brother Raul Salinas de Gortari used his Citibank accounts to launder some $100 million out of Mexico [see Update #469]; the US government has never brought charges against Citibank in the case. [New York Times 5/18/01]

[Raul Salinas is currently imprisoned for the murder of his former brother-in-law, Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu; the source of the $100 million has never been fully explained.]

According to US academic James Petras, writing in the Mexican daily La Jornada, Citibank is the "largest money launderer" in the US, if not the world.

In addition to Raul Salinas, Citibank’s more notorious clients include: Asif Ali Zardari, husband of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto; Gabon dictator El Hadj Omar Bongo; and the children of former Nigerian dictator Gen. Abacha. [LJ 5/19/01]

Author: Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York

News Service: Weekly News Update on the Americas, Issue #590

URL: http://www.eco.utexas.edu/faculty/Cleaver/chiapas95.html