Bolivian Drugs Pass through Paraguay En Route to Brazil and Argentina
By Dialogo November 23, 2011
Bolivian drug traffickers use the border with Paraguay to transport drugs to Brazil and Argentina, declared César Guedes, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) representative in Bolivia.
“Very few people would think that the drugs that reach Brazil or Argentina from Bolivia are going to pass over their borders. Paraguay is now being used to distract attention,” the international official told the newspaper La Razón.
Guedes explained that criminals use this route because it is insufficiently controlled, enabling them to access the continent’s largest markets, and through them, Europe, with less risk.
“Since it’s an inhospitable, rural border without paired cities (those separated only by the border line), the drug traffickers turn that area into an opportune location for carrying out extralegal activities,” he specified.
“What we’re going to do, both with the country program for Bolivia and (with) the one for Paraguay, is to have greater ties of communication in order to promote greater cooperation on border control, within the United Nations framework,” the UNODC representative explained.
Bolivia and Paraguay, which share a 700-kilometer border, have signed several anti-narcotics agreements to fight illicit activities on their territory.
For their part, Bolivia and Brazil have made progress in strengthening the fight against drug trafficking along the extensive 3,100-kilometer border they share, by means of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the use of radars, and even joint military exercises.
In March of this year, the latter two countries signed an agreement for surveillance operations with UAVs, and signature is pending on an agreement to monitor and destroy excess coca crops.