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Paraguay

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

Europe Cocaine Hauls Reach New Record Heights

NEWS / 26 FEB 2021

While the seizure of 23 tons of cocaine by German, Belgian and Dutch police, the largest-ever haul of the drug in the EU, was noteworthy, it serves as merely the…

Paraguay Grapples with Evolving Crime, Persistent Corruption

NEWS / 26 FEB 2021

Paraguay has long been a key link in South America's drug trafficking chain, but has grown in importance with the emergence of new criminal players and economies.

Alto Paraguay, Paraguay

PARAGUAY / 25 FEB 2021

One of Paraguay’s most sparsely populated but most homicidal departments, Alto Paraguay serves as an important cocaine transit corridor.

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.

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Personalities

Marcelo Fernando Pinheiro Veiga, alias “Piloto”

BRAZIL PERSONALITIES / APRIL 13, 2020

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…

News

ELITES AND CRIME / 25 FEB 2021

In a Paraguay border state, drug traffickers and dirty politicians find common ground, and political fights spill into the underworld.

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 river border it shares with Argentina are considered hotspots for…

COCAINE / 25 FEB 2021

Boquerón is an important part of regional cocaine trafficking routes due to its strategic location on Paraguay's border with Bolivia and its vast stretches of unpopulated land.

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 25 FEB 2021

Alto Paraná is home to some of Paraguay’s most dynamic criminal economies. Contraband goods continue to flood Brazil and Argentina via Ciudad del Este and surrounding river routes.

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 violent criminal groups.

CLAN ROTELA / 25 FEB 2021

Paraguay’s capital is a transit point for Bolivian cocaine shipped through the Tri-Border area, bound for Brazil. The Paraguay River, which passes through Asunción, also serves as a smuggling route…

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