Latin America

Brazil-Paraguay border reopens after seven months

Brazil's busiest border crossing remained closed for seven months — causing huge financial losses for people on both sides

brazil paraguay border
International Friendship Bridge. Photo: Cesar I. Martins/CC BY 2.0

Connecting the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguaçu to Paraguay’s bargain shopping paradise Ciudad del Este, the Friendship Bridge is one of the most-used bridges in South America — and the busiest of Brazil’s border crossings. Before the pandemic hit, some 100,000 pedestrians and 40,000 vehicles would cross on an average day.

A notable free-trade zone, Ciudad del Este welcomes droves of Brazilian tourists looking for tax-free goods such as perfumes, electronics, and clothing. Thousands of informal salespeople also join the throngs of shoppers, in search of cheap products they can resell in Brazil for higher prices.

But that bustling...

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