ACSS Latam Task Force - Association of Certified Sanctions Specialists

Latin America

Task Force


Sanctions compliance is a worldwide effort. A global vision has long been part of ACSS, advancing sanctions compliance, furthering compliance-business lines communication, and speaking out for sanctions compliance professionals worldwide.

New human rights and corruption sanctions have driven renewed impetus in the US sanctions regime for the Latin America region. Companies based in or doing business with Latin America and investors exploring opportunities in the region, will be faced with new risks.  

With this in mind, the LatAm Taskforce wishes to expand engagement and ACSS membership in the region and strives to expand ACSS portfolio of programs and resources to help businesses navigate sanctions risks.  

The Task Force consists of several members living or working across the Latin American region or with a link to the region, with a broad range of sanctions compliance experiences.


Xiomara Castro

Chair Taskforce | Manager Global Sanctions

Xiomara is a Manager, Global Sanctions, at Scotiabank based in Toronto, Canada. She supports the Global Sanctions Office Advisory team. Before joining Scotiabank, Xiomara worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers (Ecuador) and Deloitte (USA), and she was a partner in a law firm in Ecuador where she provided advisory to clients in business operations and complex transactions. Xiomara is a Licensed Attorney in Ecuador, a Fulbright scholar and holds an LL.M. in Comparative Law from the University of Florida with a certificate of specialization in International Taxation. Xiomara has obtained an LL.M. in Canadian Common Law from Osgoode Hall Law School in Canada.

Mariel Mercado Arevalo

Subsidiary at the Compliance Department | Oriental Bank

Mrs. Mercado works at OFG Bancorp, Oriental Bank Puerto Rico subsidiary at the Compliance Department as a Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)/Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) Analyst. Before working at Oriental Bank, she previously worked at Popular Bank of Puerto Rico. Also, she has professional work experience working at an accounting firm and as manager in the retail industry. Mariel has a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration with Finances Concentration at the University of Puerto Rico. Also, has studies in Master’s Degree at International Commerce at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico. In addition, she also has a Master’s Degree in International Business Management at the Universität of Barcelona. Furthermore, she has taken the following courses: ACAMS Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Course (CAMS), ACAMS Traded Based Money Laundering Course, Thomas Reuters-International Compliance Course, ACSS OFAC Essentials Course and ACSS EU Sanctions Essentials Certificate Course. She is member of the following organizations: Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS), Association of Certified Sanctions Specialist (ACSS) and Association of Certified Sanctions Specialist (ACSS) New York Chapter. Mrs. Mariel joined this taskforce, because she is very interested in the sanctions field and would like to develop herself is this area; Actually, she is at training and preparing herself to take the Certified Sanctions Specialist Certification.

Rocío Gainza

Senior Manager, Global Sanctions & Screening, AML Risk. | Scotiabank

Rocío Gainza is licensed to practice law in Venezuela, her country of birth, and in Ontario, Canada, where she has lived for 8 years. She has more than 10 years of experience in the financial industry. Six of them as a lawyer in Venezuela, in the legal department of one of the main financial institutions in the country, where she practiced banking law with a focus on regulatory affairs. For the last 4 years, she has worked at Scotiabank, in the Global Sanctions Office, where she is currently Senior Manager, and provides advice on sanctions to the different lines of business in Canada and in the jurisdictions where Scotiabank has a presence in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ricardo Herrera

Executive Director
Cuba Study Group

Ricardo “Ric” Herrero is the Executive Director of the Cuba Study Group, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that educates U.S. policymakers and private sector stakeholders on policies that improve the wellbeing of the Cuban people. Ricardo is a lawyer and government affairs professional with close to two decades of experience working at the intersection of international relations, law, politics, media, and philanthropy. From 2012 through 2017, he led two successful advocacy campaigns to promote diplomatic and economic ties between the United States and Cuba, and was recognized by the Obama Administration for his pivotal work shaping public opinion in support of the former president’s efforts to normalize relations with Havana. Ricardo has a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a B.A. in Business Administration from Florida International University. He is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Nadia Torres

Trade Compliance and Sanctions

Nadia is a professional consultant in Trade Compliance and Sanctions, she recently joined the Association of Certified Sanctions Specialists (ACSS) as a member. Nadia has over 15 years of experience in Global Trade Compliance working for companies in the Telecommunication industry and the private sector in Customs Compliance & Sanctions in Europe and Latin América. She has a Bachelor in Social and Political Sciences, a Law degree from the Universidad Católica (Guayaquil, Ecuador), coursing Masters in Compliance & Risk Management (Aden University, Argentina) and certified by the World Customs Organization in Safe framework aspects of international trade. She is a fluent speaker in English and Spanish.

Angel Niño Torres

Head ofCompliance

Head of Compliance for Coinbag, a blockchain-based Robo-advisor company for sustainable Crypto investing based in Ireland. CEO of FTT Lawyers, a Venezuela-based Law Firm specializing in International Corporate Law and AML/CFT & Sanctions Compliance for domestic and international companies in Venezuela. Sanctions Researcher for the Regulatory and Sanctions Data company PST.AG. Senior Compliance Writer for Interrupt Media. Professor of Business Law at Universidad Rafael Urdaneta (URU). Member of the Editorial Task Force and the Latin America Task Force of the Association of Certified Sanctions Specialists (ACSS). Certified AML FinTech Compliance Associate (CAFCA). Certification in Crypto Regulation and Financial Crime Compliance (CRFCC).

July 2022: Key Aspects of Sanctions and How it Affects Your Business
Webinar Recording April 28, 2022 - Compliance with OFAC economic sanctions for banks and corporations in Latin America, how to avoid problems? (In Spanish)