HomeNewsBriefImpunity Reigns for Drug Traffickers in East Paraguay
BRIEF

Impunity Reigns for Drug Traffickers in East Paraguay

PARAGUAY / 20 MAY 2013 BY MICHAEL TATONE EN

Judges in Paraguay's Triple Frontier region have been providing favorable sentencing to drug traffickers, underscoring the high levels of impunity in the Paraguayan legal system.

The judges, based in Ciudad del Este, are accused of issuing lenient punishment in 80 drug trafficking cases over a six-month period last year, according to a report from the city's criminal court. Of those 80 cases, nearly half were suspended and seven absolved. Only three cases resulted in convictions, with prison sentences ranging from five to six years, reported ABC.

A legal expert consulted by ABC -- the president of the Law School of Alta Parana (CAAP) -- said that the Paraguayan drug traffickers received reduced sentences because a network of judges, district attorneys, and even coroners have been co-opted by the drug trade, and thus conspired to issue alternative sentences (such as house arrest) to the accused. 

InSight Crime Analysis

It would come as no surprise if Paraguay's judicial system has been corrupted by the drug trade. And given that newly-elected President Horacio Cartes has alleged ties to organized crime, it seems unlikely there will be any meaningful attempts at judicial reform anytime soon. 

Ciudad del Este is based in the Triple Frontier region, a hub for organized crime and the trafficking of contraband, thanks to weak law enforcement and its strategic location close to Brazil and Argentina, both major drug consuming countries and transit points for cocaine trafficked to Europe. The Triple Frontier also serves as a transit site for marijuana grown in Paraguay and for cocaine arriving from Peru and Bolivia.

Brazilian gangs are known to have taken advantage of Ciudad del Este's favorable conditions for drug traffickers, especially the Red Command (Comando Vermelho), which is believed to have established a base there decades ago.

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

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 25 FEB 2021

Itapúa is a minor marijuana producer but an important transit corridor for cannabis smuggled into Argentina. Some areas of the…

BRAZIL / 4 MAR 2021

There were few better at money laundering than the Brazilian Dario Messer, who, while scrambling to save himself from Brazilian…

BRAZIL / 9 AUG 2021

A shadowy vigilante death squad operating on the Brazil-Paraguay border is killing supposed thieves and then leaving notes next to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…

WORK WITH US

Work With Us: Research Internship and Editorial Internship

31 OCT 2022

InSight Crime, a think tank dedicated to the study of organized crime and citizen security in the Americas, is seeking interns and investigators to join its dynamic, multinational team.