Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton Urges World to Fight Drug Lords `We Can Win This Battle Together,' He Tells U.N

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton Urges World to Fight Drug Lords `We Can Win This Battle Together,' He Tells U.N

Article excerpt

President Bill Clinton urged world leaders on Sunday to join a crackdown against international drug smugglers.

He announced that the United States would freeze assets of Colombia's biggest cocaine cartel and would punish countries that tolerate drug-money laundering.

"We must win this battle together," the president declared in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly opening a three-day celebration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.

Clinton signed an executive order targeting the four leaders of Colombia's Cali cartel and 43 of their associates.

The order also blacklists 33 businesses - including Colombia's biggest drugstore chain - holding companies, import-export firms, pharmaceutical companies, automobile dealerships and various stores.

The White House said that the businesses were front companies for the cartel.

The order freezes any assets that these firms have in the United States, bars them from any business with Americans and cuts them off from the U.S. financial system. The Cali ring is suspected of being behind 80 percent of the cocaine and 15 percent of the heroin smuggled into the United States. U.S. officials said that Clinton's order would have a major impact, although they declined to offer a figure.

Clinton also put nations suspected of money laundering on notice that the United States might impose sanctions on them - if they persist in helping criminals.

He said that criminal enterprises were moving "vast sums of ill-gotten gains through the international financial system with absolute impunity.

"We must not allow them to wash the blood off profits from the sale of drugs, from terror or organized crimes." `No One Is Immune'

Officials said the warning was aimed at dozens of nations, such as Antigua, the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Thailand, Austria, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although some of those countries have indicated that they will adopt international standards against money laundering.

Clinton said that international crime, terrorism, drug trafficking and the spread of weapons of mass destruction have emerged as the major threats to world peace in the aftermath of the Cold War. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.