Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Riodoce article
Subject Matter: Rabobank
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required
Reporter: Paulo Monaco Felipe for La Jornada
We want Rabobank investigated because they and complicit in narco trafficking and because they are indirectly responsible for the disappearance of a person, and thousands of crimes committed in Mexico, said Fernando Hernandez, academic and Mexican activist who lives in Holland, who is a friend of a person disappeared in Durango in December of 2010, his identity is omitted for reasons of security.
An economist with a Master of Arts in International Development and a Doctorate in Human Geography, Hernandez has studied in England and the United States. Now he lives in Holland and urges legally to the authority of this country that they are required to implement its reputation as defenders of human rights.
Today he filed a lawsuit in the courts, to demand that they investigate the Dutch bank Rabobank for collaborating with the drug cartels in the commission of all kinds of crimes.
This prestigious finance business in Europe, with a triple A rating among specialists, is under suspicion of money laundering for Mexican organized crime in a branch office that was in Calexico, United States.
"We know that Rabobank didn't command the death of my friend and probably have not commanded the death of anyone, clarified Hernandez via telephone. We are claiming that they are mondy laundering for the Sinaloa cartel, as such the bank has legitimized the deaths that are a by product of the business of organized crime. Is Rabobank responsible for the death of my Uncle? No. Is it guilty of money laundering? Yes, and we believe that money laundering leaves victims, and my friend is one of the victims of the Sinaloa cartel, for whom Rabobank launder money.
The legal conflict is unpublished: we want to generate a precedent, to procure justice for a topic that exists in a vacuum, explained Hernandez, who leads the claim under the association civil name of the SMX collective (https:smxcollective.org/), a group of Mexican residents outside of Mexico, who have as an objective to denounce the havoc that has caused the current strategy of internal security, with close to 200,000 dead and more than 40,000 disappeared in about 10 years, according to estimates of victims organizations.
We have complained that in prisons there are thousands of detainees held unjustly because maybe they aren't responsible for deaths and disappearances, while the bankers are free, none behind bars, says SMX Collective. By Rabobank, "we ant to bring to trial those who benefit from the silver that the cartels generate.
This group of Mexicans have started the legal battle in Holland, because the laws of this country enable a local trial whenever a company of that nationality is part of a crime, even if it is outside of their borders, in addition because they distrust other systems.
the Rabobank case is already being investigated by the American justice system, after effective deposits at the Calexico branch increased by thirty nine percent between 2008 and 2013. It is presumed that portion of the increase in the movements correspond to the policy issued by the then President Felipe Calderon, who limited dollar deposits in banks in Mexico, so even small Mexican businessmen crossed the border to operate on the other side. However, the Calexico branch received so much money that it needed one or two trucks a week to take away all the money.
Both the bank and the US justice system have remained silent on the progress of the investigation, infiltration of the press, especially Bloomberg, indicates that the biggest movements in cash volume happened in 2010 and 2011; also that they have detected themselves at least three cases in which assets have already been seized, gymnasiums linked to an operation of cocaine trafficking in Mexico; money laundering by a customs agent in San Diego, California, and money laundering by the former owner or a car dealership in Calexico.
According to informants, Bloomberg mentioned that this past May that two high executives, named Laura Akahoshi and Stephen Byron, would be investigated, equally that Ronald Blok, who was executive president of Rabobank.
The Calexico branch closed in January of 2015 and since then silence is the premium. Fernando Hernandez and companions of Smx collective fear that if its claims about Rabobank in the United States happen, the same thing will happen as did to HSBC, where there was only a fine and a non disclosure agreement. That is why they have launched their action in Holland, which boasts a defense of human rights, the bank executives would have to go to jail because they legitimize what happens in that country, and not seek financial compensation: we want justice.
They will move forward, then they will impel more initiatives in order to show the world the current situation in Mexico. This fight is deemed interesting because it is launched by a recognized lawyer, the Dutchman Goran Sluiter who took on in trial the Presidents of Nigeria, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It is part of the office of Praken d'Olivera, who specialize in human rights and international justice, a firm that years ago managed to prevent legally the presence in Holland of Jorge Zorreguieta, former military linked to the last military dictatorship in Argentina and father of the current queen of Holland.
Original article in Spanish at Riodoce