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Paraguayan and Brazilian Anti-Drug Authorities Agree to Expand Border ‎Operations

By Dialogo
February 20, 2009

Paraguayan anti-drug authorities and the Federal Police of Brazil have agreed to intensify ‎operations to destroy marijuana plantations along their common borders, an official ‎Paraguayan source reported to Asunción. ‎ The National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD) reported in a statement that the joint war ‎on drug trafficking will be intensified in March, mainly in the department of Amambay, ‎which is northeast of Asunción and shares a border with the Brazilian state of Mato ‎Grosso do Sul.‎ This project was analyzed by the authorities of SENAD and the Federal Police of Brazil ‎in a meeting held the day before in the town of Pedro Juan Caballero, the capital of ‎Amambay, located 530 kilometers northeast of the Paraguayan capital.‎ According to Paraguayan authorities, drug dealers compete for control of marijuana ‎cultivation and cocaine traffic in the border regions of Amambay, Concepción, and ‎Canindeyú.‎ On the other hand, Minister of the Interior Rafael Filizzola told reporters today that the ‎possibility of undertaking a joint operation of the Police and the Armed Forces in these ‎areas, similar to those implemented in January in the department of San Pedro (center), is ‎being considered.‎ These operations were performed during investigations initiated after the attack ‎perpetrated by an armed group against a military post. The post was guarded by one of ‎the three soldiers assigned to the station in Tacuatí, San Pedro, on December 31 of last ‎year.‎ However, this operation also focuses on the destruction of marijuana crops.‎ Approximately 5,900 tons of marijuana per year is harvested in Paraguay, representing ‎more than half of South America’s production, which is estimated at 10,000 tons, and is ‎second only to Mexico, with 7,400 tons, according to data from the UN World Drug ‎Report 2008.‎