Mexican Congress approves anti-terrorism bill

Mexico's lower house of Congress has passed a bill that would punish people caught financing terrorist groups with up to 40 years in prison. The bill, approved in a 413-12 vote with six abstentions Tuesday, makes it a crime to finance terrorist activity and authorizes prosecutors to track and obtain information on suspicious transactions from finance and tax authorities. The Senate approved the measure last year, and President Felipe Calderon is expected to put it into effect by publishing it in the government's official gazette. It is currently illegal in Mexico to fund or engage in organized crime and criminal conspiracies. The new measure makes it explicitly illegal to threaten acts of terrorism, or to provide cover for or fund terrorism.