HomeNewsBriefA Murder, A Critique, and an Exasperated Official in Paraguay
BRIEF

A Murder, A Critique, and an Exasperated Official in Paraguay

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 20 MAY 2014 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

Paraguay’s anti-drug chief has acknowledged corruption within his department and called for multi-agency assistance in combating Paraguay’s drug trafficking problem following the murder of a journalist in a troubled part of the country.

“SENAD is doing all it can with what it has,” said Luis Rojas, head of Paraguay’s National Antidrug Secretariat (SENAD), in an interview with radio station 780 AM, reported ABC Color.

“SENAD only has 400 men and, because of internal corruption, some of them are not to be relied on for certain activities,” he added. “Drug trafficking creates an enormous chain of corruption.”

Rojas’ comments followed a recent murder of a journalist in the Paraguay-Brazil border town of Pedro Juan Caballero. Opposition Senator Robert Acevedo accused a “sold-out” SENAD of ignoring the area while drug traffickers turned it into a “killing field.”

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Paraguay

Rojas partially defended the efforts of SENAD, saying the organization had seized more than $800 million in drugs, money and other items from mostly Paraguayan and Brazilian traffickers during 2013. However, the official admitted his organization was incapable of bringing Paraguay’s organized crime element under control. 

“The fight against the criminal sectors requires an inter-institutional effort,” Rojas said, calling for help from the national police, Paraguay’s armed forces and the prosecutor general.

InSight Crime Analysis 

Part of Paraguay’s problem is criminal migration. Earlier this year a spate of murders in and around Pedro Juan Caballero attributed to a turf war between Brazilian trafficking groups highlighted the area’s importance in regional trafficking.

It is also an arms trafficking corridor. In the same period, authorities dismantled a Brazilian gang transporting weapons through Pedro Juan Caballero. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Criminal Migration

Rojas’ acknowledgment of corruption in his ranks, and SENAD’s inability to halt violence and drug trafficking, is a continuation of the candid style he has displayed since taking his current post, with the official promising the government would “lie less” about drug trafficking before even taking office in August 2013. 

Critics note that Rojas’ boss and current Paraguay President Horacio Cartes has faced recurring accusations of involvement in drug smuggling and money laundering.

These accusations cast doubt on whether Rojas’ open-eyed comments will translate into the inter-institution effort he has trumpeted see a meaningful attempt to combat corruption within SENAD. 

Compartir icon icon icon

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

BARRIO AZTECA / 9 APR 2015

US authorities have arrested nearly 1000 gang members in a nationwide sweep called "Project Wildfire," amid evidence that the gangs…

ARGENTINA / 28 APR 2011

Paraguay will begin patrolling its border with Bolivia by air in order to crack down on drug trafficking, reports La…

ARGENTINA / 15 SEP 2016

Argentina's request to extradite a Serbian crime boss provides insight into the Balkan mafia's long tentacles in Latin America --…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…