Paraguay’s Most Wanted Narcotrafficker Arrested in Brazil
By Andréa Barretto/Diálogo May 13, 2021
The Brazilian Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese), in cooperation with the Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD, in Portuguese), arrested Jorge Teófilo Samudio González, Paraguay’s most wanted narcotrafficker. PF agents caught Samuldio González, known as Samura, on March 29, 2021, in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso.
According to authorities, Samura is the leader of a Paraguayan criminal organization that supplies weapons and ships cocaine from Bolivia to Brazil. The Red Command, one of Brazil’s largest narcotrafficking groups, which was formed in Rio de Janeiro and operates throughout the country, led these operations. According to SENAD, Samura’s activities moved around $20 million monthly and were carried out with small aircraft, which used rural properties in Paraguay as landing and takeoff points.
Paraguayan authorities took notice of the narcotrafficker in 2011, when SENAD surrounded him on a clandestine runway in the state of Concepción. At the time, authorities seized 370 kilograms of drugs, but Samura managed to escape. He was finally arrested in October 2018. About a year later, on September 11, 2019, the criminal was rescued by his associates as he was being led from the courthouse in Asunción, the Paraguayan capital, to the Emboscada penitentiary. Samura was on his way to attend a hearing. An armed group of eight to 10 criminals attacked the van he was in, killing officer Félix Antonio Ferrari Yudis, who was escorting the vehicle.
A fugitive since then, the criminal was found on March 29, in the Brazilian municipality of Sinop, about 1,500 kilometers from Pedro Juan Caballero, Samura’s city of origin, on the Paraguay-Brazil border. According to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, at the time of the arrest, the narcotrafficker was carrying a firearm and a fake ID.
SENAD’s investigations to capture the Paraguayan criminal were carried out concurrently to investigations by the Paraguayan Department to Combat Organized Crime, which was searching for participants in Samura’s escape in 2019. On March 24, police officers arrested one of them, Freddy Esteban González Núñez. Forensic examination of the material collected from the rescue scene points to the individual as the prime suspect in the officer’s death. The suspect was in a house on the outskirts of Asunción. On site, agents seized weapons, ammunition, communication devices, and a truck.