Paraguayan Police Detains Member of Red Command

Paraguayan Police Detains Member of Red Command

By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo
November 10, 2020

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On September 18, agents of the Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD, in Spanish) captured Mauro Galeano, alias Alemão, an alleged key member of the Brazilian criminal group Red Command (CV, in Portuguese) in Paraguay.

Galeano, a 34-year-old Paraguayan national, is believed to be the right-hand man of Marcelo Pinheiro, alias Piloto, a CV leader, who is imprisoned in Brazil.

“Alemão is a target who was wanted since 2015,” Francisco Ayala, SENAD spokesperson, told the NPY TV network. “He kept a very low profile. It was really difficult to locate him,” Ayala said.

Mauro Galeano, alias Alemão, is believed to be one of the main members of the Brazilian criminal organization Red Command in Paraguay. (Photo: Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat)

Authorities arrested Alemão in the city of Juan Manuel Frutos, Caaguazú department, with three packages of cocaine hidden in the spare tire of his vehicle. A Paraguayan citizen who accompanied him was also arrested.

Previous intelligence work indicated that the trafficker was taking the cocaine to the border area as a sample to be used in drug sales negotiations, SENAD reported.

In recent years, the CV has expanded its activities to the Pedro Juan Caballero region, where it controls trafficking routes for Paraguayan marijuana and for cocaine coming from Peru and Bolivia.

“We believe that Alemão is the last important link within the Red Command organization, led by Marcelo [alias] Piloto in Paraguayan territory,” Ayala said.

The criminal group has suffered setbacks in Paraguay. In 2017, narcotics agents arrested Piloto in the city of Encarnación.

According to SENAD, the arrest of drug lord Piloto was made possible thanks to support from Brazil’s Federal Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Piloto had devised a plan to remain incarcerated in Paraguay, because it was easier for him to escape than in Brazilian prisons, the InSight Crime organization stated on its website.

To avoid his extradition, the trafficker took responsibility for various crimes committed in Paraguay. But when he learned that he would still be extradited, he murdered a woman who had visited his cell with a dessert knife.

Authorities extradited Piloto from Paraguay in November 2018, and he is currently incarcerated in a maximum security prison in Brazil.