HomeNewsBriefAs Drug Threat Grows, Paraguay Approves Shoot-Down Law
BRIEF

As Drug Threat Grows, Paraguay Approves Shoot-Down Law

PARAGUAY / 17 OCT 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Paraguay's Senate has approved a shoot-down law for unauthorized planes in an effort to combat drug trafficking, just as a reporter is murdered by suspected drug traffickers, but the country lacks the necessary resources to enforce any shoot-down policy or protect its journalists.

On October 16, the Senate passed a law that, if approved by the House of Representatives, will allow security forces to shoot down unauthorized planes suspected of transporting drugs and contraband, reported ABC Color.

However, Senator Roberto Acevedo, the president of the congressional anti-drug trafficking commission -- and the victim of a 2010 assassination attempt believed to have been ordered by drug traffickers -- told InSight Crime the country lacked the necessary equipment to enforce the measure.

"The drug traffickers are going to laugh at us because Paraguay isn't in a position [to enforce the law]," he stated. Acevedo said the law also violated due process and the presumption of innocence, as well as international treaties. He told InSight Crime Paraguay should focus on other aspects of the fight against drug trafficking instead, like tackling impunity and corruption.

On the same day the Senate approved the law, ABC Color correspondent Pablo Medina was assassinated in the eastern province of Canindeyu. Medina had reportedly received numerous threats due to his coverage of the marijuana trade. Luis Rojas, the head of the National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD) said it was possible drug traffickers may have been behind the murder, reported Ultima Hora.

InSight Crime Analysis

Both Medina's assassination and the approval of the shoot-down law underscore the seriousness of the threat posed by drug trafficking in Paraguay, which is South America's largest marijuana producer and a transit point for Brazilian-bound cocaine. As Senator Acevedo stated, however, Paraguay lacks the airplanes and radar coverage necessary to enforce a shoot-down law, and may find its resources better spent elsewhere.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Paraguay 

Meanwhile, John Otis, the Committee to Protect Journalists' (CPJ) Andes correspondent, told InSight Crime that Paraguay was becoming increasingly dangerous for journalists. According to the CPJ, four journalists have been killed in Paraguay since 1992 in addition to Medina, in cases in which the motive was confirmed -- two of them this year. According to Otis, the 2014 killings represent an "extremely high number given the small size of the country."

Although four individuals have already been detained in relation to the case, Otis expressed concern that the murder investigation would end once the gunmen had been apprehended -- rather than going after the person who ordered the killing -- as has happened in many similar cases in the region.

The organization Reporters Without Borders has previously warned that the threat posed by organized crime has greatly restricted journalists' ability to work in Paraguay.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COCAINE / 21 JUN 2021

Misconceptions surrounding Mexico's drug trade have long been replicated in popular culture and public discourses.

COCAINE / 26 JAN 2023

Corrupt Navy troops in Ecuador can be highly useful for drug traffickers, either to protect cocaine shipments or to simply…

COCAINE / 23 APR 2021

Shipping containers at European ports concealing record amounts of cocaine turned out to have come from an unlikely source: the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…