HomeNewsBriefHunt Intensifies for New Face of Paraguay’s Drug Trade
BRIEF

Hunt Intensifies for New Face of Paraguay’s Drug Trade

PARAGUAY / 19 MAR 2015 BY LOREN RIESENFELD EN

Paraguay authorities have identified a central figure in the country's transnational drug trade with Brazil, further indication that Paraguayan traffickers are assuming increasingly important roles in running their own drug smuggling networks. 

Clemencio Gonzalez Gimenez, a suspected drug trafficker known as “El Gringo,” is now the top priority for police in the eastern border province of Amambay, reported ABC Color. Gonzales is said to control half of the drug trade within a semi-arid region along the Brazilian frontier known as the "frontera seca," a strategically important region given the role that Paraguay plays in supplying Brazil's domestic drug market

In January, a scandal erupted when corrupt police returned 252 kilograms of seized cocaine to Gonzalez, which prompted the firing of top officers and a reshuffling of police leadership in that region. Two councilmen and several police officers from Amambay have been arrested in connection to the incident, while the prosecutor in the case has issued an international arrest warrant for Gonzales.

Gonzalez allegedly works with Fernandinho Beira Mar, the leader of a Brazilian drug gang called the Red Command (Comando Vermelho), and was anointed the successor to Fahd Jamil Georges, the “godfather” of the drug trade between Paraguay and Brazil, according to ABC Color.

InSight Crime Analysis

Paraguayans have typically played small-time roles in transnational drug trafficking, working as assassins or drivers, but are reportedly assuming more leading roles in the drug trade, according to the country's anti-drug minister. Like Gonzalez, many of these Paraguayan traffickers supply the larger Brazilian organizations

Gonzalez's ability to get the local police force in Amambay to return the cocaine shipment they seized from him is also indicative of the impunity with which drug traffickers can operate in Paraguay, with help from complicit police and politicians. One journalist from ABC Color who reported on narco-politics in the region was killed last year, and a local mayor was recently arrested in connection to the murder. Evidence of collusion between drug traffickers and officials is also evident at a national level: members of Congress have been accused of links to Brazilian and Paraguayan drug traffickers, while authorities have also uncovered a massive network for police bribes in another Paraguayan border state. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Paraguay

Paraguayan authorities would do well to finally fix their attention on Gonzalez's alleged drug network in Amambay. This frontier statem, which is also a major producer of marijuana, has been called one of Latin America’s most dangerous border regions. Rife with corruption, the province has extensive drug and contraband smuggling networks that make it a key transit point for trafficking to Brazil.

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.

Tags

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 14 JUN 2022

Dario Messer, one of the most audacious money launderers in Latin American history, is facing jail time in Brazil but…

ARGENTINA / 7 MAR 2022

Paraguay has launched the biggest operation against cocaine trafficking and money laundering in its history, unleashing a scandal that has…

ELITES AND CRIME / 20 OCT 2021

The killing of four young people in Paraguay’s border city of Pedro Juan Caballero has led back to an imprisoned…

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…