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

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 25 FEB 2021

Amambay is at the heart of Paraguay’s most worrying organized crime trends: cocaine trafficking, marijuana production, and the rise of…

BRAZIL / 8 JUL 2022

Authorities in Paraguay and Brazil have recently stepped up activities targeting contraband flows through lake Itaipú, from where all manner…

ARGENTINA / 12 SEP 2022

Synthetic drugs like methamphetamine, fentanyl, and ecstasy are reshaping Latin America's drug trade.

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…