El Universal. 06-24-2012. While in countries like Colombia or Guatemala the number of properties seized from organized crime groups and subject to forfetiture actions numbered over 28,000 in one year, in Mexico, only 8 properties have been the subjects of such an action, according to the report "Forfeiture of property", drafted by the Center of Social Studies and Public Opinion (Centro the Estudios Sociales y de Opinion Publica--CESOP) of the Mexican House of Representatives (Camara de Diputados ).
CESOP's analysis shows that the most notable cases of forfeiture of property in Colombia in 2011 affected property valued over 3 billion 400 million Mexican pesos, and that between 2003 and 2009, nearly $11 billion dollars in criminal assets have been forfeited in that South American country, while in this country, the value of assets subject to forfeiture is "merely symbolic."
In Guatemala, up until February, 2012, ten months after the law on this subject matter became effective, courts have issued 12 judgments on behalf of the State involving assets that authorities have seized from organized crime and drug trafficking, amounting to around $760,000 dollars, plus 226,000 Colombian pesos.
CESOP adds that in Mexico, from the date that the 2009 Federal Law on Forfeiture of Property (Ley Federal de Extincion de Dominio) went into effect, the Office of Attorney General (PGR) has initiated only 10 proceedings, of which they have won only one, and that no proceedings have been filed in 2012.
The document also states the statutory grounds that provide a basis for initiating a criminal forfeiture proceeding in [Mexico] are fewer compared to Guatemala, [whose law] contains 40 (causal factors), and Colombia, which has 25 (causal factors), while in Mexico the law only allows 5.
In the "Report on the Results of the Superior Inspection of Public Accounts 2009" (Resultado de la Fiscalizacion Superior de la Cuenta Publica 200), the review that the Auditoria Superior de la Federacion (functionally eqivalent to the Congressional Budget Office) performed concluded that the Office of Administration and Transfer of Property did not receive any real or personal property from the operation of this law between August and December 2009.
CESOP points out that ITAM (Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico) specialists like Edgardo Buscaglia find it "incredible" that the institutions charged with combatting organized crime in Mexico lack the tools to dismantle the financial and property structures used by organized crime groups.
In Buscaglia's view, who is the coordinator of ITAM's International Program on Justice and Development, the Mexican government is not complying with the recommendations of the International Financial Group (GAFI) to prevent money laundering, nor does it use the technical and legal tools it has available to prevent dirty money from circulating through the arteries of the Mexican financial system.