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Paraguay has enjoyed relative stability following its transition to democracy in the early 1990s. However, the nation is the region's largest producer of marijuana and traffics more illegal cigarettes than any country in the Western Hemisphere.

Latest News

Entre Ríos: Argentina's Rising Drug Trafficking Transit Hub

NEWS / 25 OCT 2021

Argentine province bordering Uruguay has become a transit hub for drug trafficking out of Paraguay, revealing a new route used to propel cocaine across the Southern Cone.

The Drug Lord and the Governor's Daughter - Quadruple Homicide in Paraguay

NEWS / 20 OCT 2021

The killing of four young people in Paraguay’s border city of Pedro Juan Caballero has led back to an imprisoned man who was once its most-wanted drug trafficker, revealing systemic…

Contraband Chinese Cigarettes Take Latin America by Storm

NEWS / 11 OCT 2021

Contraband Chinese cigarettes are pouring into Latin America, infiltrating old smuggling routes and threatening longstanding criminal empires.

Paraguay Profile

Criminal Actors

Armed Groups

Sandwiched between Argentina and Brazil, Paraguay’s strategic location allows its criminal actors – who have increasingly relied on rampant corruption – to ship drugs through South America and on to Europe. While the country does not have any homegrown hegemonic criminal organizations, guerrillas from the Paraguayan People’s Army (Ejercito del Pueblo Paraguayo – EPP) continue to test the state’s authority while securing income through extorting rural landowners and kidnapping. Cigarette and other contraband smuggling is rife.



Marcelo Fernando Pinheiro Veiga, alias “Piloto”


Marcelo “Piloto” Pinheiro was considered one of the Brazilian government’s most sought-after drug traffickers until 2017. He is believed to have once been the second-in-command of the Red Command (Comando…

Jarvis Chimenes Pavão, alias "The Drug Kingpin"

PARAGUAY / MAY 23, 2019

Brazilian national Jarvis Chimenes Pavão rose to become one of South America’s most prominent drug traffickers and the successor of a line of local capos along the strategic border between…



An influx of contraband chicken from Argentina into Paraguay has overwhelmed the local market and is threatening to put local farmers out of business.


Despite its small size, Paraguay continues to shock Latin America with its extremely high levels of deforestation, outnumbering most of its much larger neighbors -- especially in the destruction of…

CHILE / 25 AUG 2021

A series of seizures and drug raids across Latin America have revealed how previously niche high-strength marijuana products are establishing themselves within the region’s drug markets.

BRAZIL / 16 AUG 2021

The capture of a top Anti-Bala coalition member in Paraguay threatens to weaken a longstanding criminal in Brazil's southern border state of Rio Grande Do Sul.

BOLIVIA / 13 AUG 2021

The US Coast Guard unloaded 27 tons of cocaine after a three-month operation in the Pacific and Caribbean, a massive haul that underscores maritime drug flows and cocaine production remain…

BRAZIL / 11 AUG 2021

A number of recent raids have highlighted how illegal pesticide smuggling in Brazil is fueled by Chinese contraband.

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