Nearly 100 officers from the Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD) and the Brazilian Federal Police (PF) destroyed 748 tons of marijuana as part of Operation New Alliance XXX. During the 10-day raid, which ended April 1, the security forces used helicopters to locate the crops and follow the movement of troops. The Paraguayan Air Force and the Paraguayan Joint Task Force, integrated by members of the Armed Forces, as well as the Paraguayan National Police supported the operation.
“The main objective of the operation was to eradicate marijuana production in Paraguay,” the PF said in a statement. “To this end, 246 hectares of cannabis plantations were eradicated, produced in Paraguayan territory, mainly in the Amambay region.”
In addition to the illegal plantations, agents destroyed 10,283 kilograms of marijuana ready for sale and 81 camps narcotraffickers used for logistics. “The blow to the finances of organized crime exceeds $22 million,” SENAD said. “The goal is to combat planting the drug before it reaches the Brazilian market. This is because about 90 percent of the drug planted in Paraguay is bound for Brazil,” the PF said.
According to Paraguayan newspaper Hoy, the raids were carried out in low and high ground in areas such as Colonia Estrella and Ñu Vera in northern Paraguay. “[These are] places where [authorities] have detected an increase in marijuana production camps,” Hoy reported.
Patrol teams deployed to the hills to check rural properties where there were drug production, storage, and trafficking activities. “PF experts were also part of the mission. The on-site work aimed to ascertain the estimated illegal production of the drug and the main species criminals used,” the PF said.
“The action denotes the continuity of Paraguay and Brazil’s efforts, as well as the common and shared commitment against organized crime in the border departments,” Paraguay’s La Nación newspaper said.
1,600 tons in 2022
This was the second iteration of Operation New Alliance this year. In the first, held in late February, Brazilian and Paraguayan forces eradicated more than 850 tons of marijuana, totaling some 1,600 tons so far. “Four more phases of the operation are still planned between Brazil and Paraguay in 2022,” the PF said.
In 2021, Operation New Alliance eradicated 5,401 tons of marijuana stalks — a record compared to previous years. Authorities destroyed 1,190 tons in 2020 and 3,430 tons in 2019, the PF said.
“International cooperation with the Brazilian Federal Police is part of Paraguay’s strategy to combat organized crime to eradicate the production of marijuana plantations,” the PF added.