If a country by itself tries to fight against ML or TF, it won't succeed unless it coordinates its efforts with other countries," said GAFISUD deputy executive secretary, Esteban Fullin.
The "GAFI" in GAFISUD stands for Grupo de Accion Financiera Internacional, the Spanish translation of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and "SUD" refers to the fact that the member countries are South American or "sudamericanos".
By the time GAFISUD was created, however, some of the potential member countries Venezuela, Surinam, and Guyana--had already become members of the Caribbean FATF (CFTAF) and thus did not become GAFISUD members.
Whilst GAFISUD also seeks to develop its own recommendations for the improvement of national policies against ML and TF, it is modelled on the FATF and is an FATF style regional body (FSRB), one of seven such bodies globally, noted Fullin.
In line with this approach, GAFISUD has adopted the Forty Recommendations issued by FATF as the most widely recognized international standard for countering ML and the Nine Special Recommendations against TF.
In terms of recommendations, GAFISUD members "currently think that FATF recommendations cover enough" but the body does issue guidance on applying these.
GAFISUD has legal personality and diplomatic status in Argentina, where the office of its Secretariat is located (in Buenos Aires).
With the aim of fighting against TF explicitly included in its mission as stated in the Memorandum of Understanding, GAFISUD has developed a Plan of Action against Terrorist Financing.
The MoU that was first signed in Colombia was modified in 2001 to introduce the fight against TF and in 2006 to be able to apply sanctions to GAFISUD own members who fail to comply seriously with FATF Recommendations, added Fullin.