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Paraguay, Brazil Take 416 Tons of Marijuana out of Circulation

Paraguay, Brazil Take 416 Tons of Marijuana out of Circulation

By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo
December 22, 2021

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The Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD, in Spanish) and the Brazilian Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese) took 400 tons of marijuana out of circulation during Operation New Alliance (Operación Nueva Alianza) XXVIII. The combined operation was conducted in Amambay department, Paraguay, with support from PF and Paraguayan Air Force helicopters, on November 16-25, 2021.

“This operation enabled the eradication of 131 hectares of marijuana crops and the dismantling of 94 narco camps. In addition, 23 tons of marijuana ready [for distribution] were eliminated,” the Paraguayan newspaper Hoy said. “With these numbers, it is estimated that at least 416 tons of marijuana were taken out of circulation,” Hoy said.

The operation’s first day focused on the Santa Ana area, where troops destroyed 10 narco camps and seized 3,670 kilograms of marijuana ready for shipment to Brazil, the Brazilian website Dourado News reported. In the following days, authorities carried out air and land operations in the towns of Trabuco and Alpasa, Agencia de Información Paraguaya (IP) reported.

During the 28th phase of Operation New Alliance, SENAD and the PF eradicated 131 hectares of cannabis crops, dismantled 94 narco camps, and destroyed 23 tons of marijuana ready for distribution. (Photo: Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat)

Intelligence base

On November 25, during the closing ceremony of Operation New Alliance XXVIII, Paraguayan and Brazilian authorities inaugurated the Strategic Intelligence Directorate Mbareté Base, in Pedro Juan Caballero. During the ceremony, SENAD Minister Zully Rolón met with Luiz Flávio Zampronha, head of the Brazilian PF’s Directorate for Investigation and Combat of Organized Crime.

“[The base] aims to be a regional joint intelligence center for the fight against organized crime,” SENAD said in a statement. For its part, the PF said that the center is a new “strategic milestone” in the joint fight against organized crime. “[We] also inaugurated the Strategic Intelligence Directorate in Pedro Juan Caballero,” the PF said.

Seven years of joint work

With the 28th phase of Operation New Alliance, SENAD and the PF are commemorating seven years of joint efforts against drug trafficking. “In the last seven years, thanks to joint efforts between the two countries, international narcotrafficking has lost $1.1 billion,” the PF said. According to the force, Operation New Alliance took a total of 6,000 tons of marijuana out of circulation.

“To have an idea of the size of the seizure, UNODC [United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime] data shows that seizures of marijuana worldwide total 7,000 tons,” the PF said. So far in 2021, authorities have destroyed 2,065 hectares of marijuana crops during combined operations, SENAD indicated.

“With these actions, throughout the year, the finances of narcotrafficking experienced a loss of profits exceeding $188 million,” IP reported.

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