One of the Top Four Brazilian Drug Traffickers Is Arrested in Paraguay

By Dialogo
October 21, 2011

Drug trafficker Alexander Mendes da Silva, known as Polegar (“Thumb”), was detained in Paraguay, in a joint operation between the local police and the Brazilian Federal Police, in the Paraguayan border city of Pedro Juan Caballero, the Paraguayan Anti-drug Police announced.

Mendes, known as one of the four top drug traffickers most wanted by the Brazilian Federal Police, was detained on the street at a time when he was accompanied by his entire family, María Mercedes Castiñeira, a spokesperson for the Brazilian National Anti-drug Secretariat (SENAD), announced.

Polegar, 37 years old, ran a business buying and selling vehicles in Pedro Juan Caballero, and was apprehended with false Paraguayan documents, including a residency permit for the country.

Accused of gang development, drug trafficking, and money laundering, among other charges, Mendes had made a spectacular escape from the Federal Police in Rio de Janeiro’s Morro da Mangueira slum in June 2011.

On that occasion, he had time to destroy everything in the house so that it would not be used, and he escaped through a prepared pipe in the house’s bathroom that took him to an adjacent river.

Castiñeira said that the arrested “narc” could be turned over to the Brazilian Federal Police very soon. Meanwhile, Polegar is being detained at SENAD’s base of operations in Pedro Juan Caballero.