HomeNewsBriefBrazil Criminals 'Establishing Permanent Presence' in Paraguay
BRIEF

Brazil Criminals 'Establishing Permanent Presence' in Paraguay

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 7 JAN 2014 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

A prominent clergyman in Paraguay has called attention to the establishment of permanent bases in the country by Brazilian criminals, with recently announced record drug seizures one indication of what might be attracting them.

Archbishop Pablo Caceres of the Diocese of Concepcion condemned the "Brazilianization" of the northern department where he is based, saying criminal groups had been slowly gaining ground there since 2005, reported Nanduti. "San Salvador port, like other places, is today in the hands of the Brazilians," he said.

According to Caceres, Brazilian criminals have been increasingly buying land in Concepcion, using ranching as a cover for drug trafficking activities. These large landholdings house clandestine landing strips for drug flights, and outsiders are refused entry, he said.

The report came just as Paraguay announced record drug seizures in 2013, with 492 tons recovered, a 39 percent increase on 2012 figures. More than 461 tons of the drugs recovered were marijuana. Paraguay is the leading producer of marijuana in South America, and Brazil is its principal market.

InSight Crime Analysis

The presence of Brazilian criminal groups involved in drug trafficking in Paraguay has been the subject of various reports in recent years. The Brazilian group with the heaviest presence in the country is the Rio de Janeiro-based Red Command (Comando Vermelho), with an armed wing of the group captured in the border area between the two countries in May 2013. A month earlier it was reported the group was shipping one ton of cocaine out of Paraguay each month.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Red Command

While cells of Brazilian groups have been reported to operate in Paraguay, the suggestion Brazilian criminals are buying up swathes of land and operating with impunity in the country gives new cause for concern. As a key transit point for Peruvian and Bolivian cocaine and a prominent marijuana producer, Paraguay offers massive profits to criminal groups.

The Red Command and rival Brazilian prison gang the First Capital Command (PCC) are already known to have set up shop in Bolivia, and the establishment of a more permanent presence in Paraguay may be a natural result of their development into transnational drug trafficking operations. This increasing expansion is also likely linked to police crackdowns in their home country.

As highlighted by Caceres, this development also calls into question the government's focus on combating the Paraguayan People's Army (EPP). The small guerrilla outfit has been accused of drug trafficking ties, but is likely just a minor player in the hundreds of tons of drugs passing through 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

DRUG POLICY / 4 OCT 2018

A group of farmers in Paraguay announced they might return to marijuana cultivation, revealing the limits and challenges that crop…

DRUG POLICY / 16 MAR 2020

Paraguay issued its first-ever medical cannabis licenses this February, marking a major shift for the marijuana-producing country while…

PARAGUAY / 7 JUL 2015

Paraguayan authorities have reportedly seized over a dozen airplanes that they believe were used for drug trafficking, perhaps the clearest…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.