Agents of the Brazilian Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese) and the Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD, in Spanish) destroyed nearly 48 tons of marijuana in Paraguayan territory, July 6-15, during the 26th phase of Operation New Alliance.
The personnel carried out air and ground raids to detect camps, storage centers, labs, and illegal drug crops in the department of Amambay.
During the 10-day operation, authorities dismantled 109 camps and eradicated 260 hectares of cannabis plantations, according to official figures. “The total amount destroyed is equivalent to more than 800 tons of marijuana ready for consumption,” the PF reported.
Police officers also destroyed 842,000 marijuana seeds, according to Brazilian website G1.
The Joint Task Force’s Internal Defense Operations Command, comprised of members of the Paraguayan Armed Forces and National Police, supported the operation.
According to SENAD, the dismantled camps were the logistics base to process large volumes of marijuana. “The drug was intended for Brazilian criminal factions,” SENAD said.
Between July 12-15, while eradicating marijuana in Paraguay, the PF destroyed cannabis plantations in the state of Pernambuco. “The operation, which had support from the Federal Highway Police and Military Police, resulted in the removal of about 58,000 marijuana plants,” the PF said.
This is the third joint operation that agents from both countries carry out in 2021 to eradicate marijuana in Paraguay. According to the PF, more than 4,000 tons of the drug failed to reach the market this year.
“The operations to eradicate illicit marijuana crops are an important strategy to reduce the drug supply,” the PF said. “With efforts and resources concentrated in just a few days, it would be possible to destroy more than the total amount of drugs seized in the country [Brazil] throughout the year.”
Paraguayan agents welcomed the logistics and intelligence cooperation offered by their Brazilian counterparts. “New Alliance XXVI rose from the framework of shared responsibility between SENAD and the Federal Police in the fight against organized crime,” SENAD said.
For its part, the PF said the operation “reaffirms the focus on international police cooperation and represents a severe blow to drug trafficking and organized crime.”
The choice of Amambay as the operation’s focus was intentional. Located on the border with Brazil, the department is at the center of Paraguay’s most troubling trends in organized crime: cocaine trafficking, marijuana production, and an increase in violent criminal groups.
According to a report by the organization InSight Crime, which specializes in security threats in Latin America, “[Amambay] leads the country’s marijuana production and is a vital corridor for drugs, with marijuana and cocaine flowing across the department’s land border into Brazil.”