Brazil’s Justice Minister issued an ordinance to extend the presence of federal security forces in Foz do Iguaçu, on the border with Paraguay. The troops provide support to the Integrated Border Operations Center (CIOF) “to act in actions of the judiciary police and forensic specialists, in the fight against transnational crimes and the preservation of public order.”
On Monday, after a request from Paraná state governor Ratinho Júnior, the Justice Ministry sent national guards to the region to control the flow of people and vehicles between the two countries. The Brazil-Paraguay border is highly porous and is a strategic hub for drugs and arms smugglers, contraband cigarettes, and even terrorism, as the U.S. government points out that the triple border between Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina is home to Hezbollah operatives.
“With the growing structure of criminal networks on both sides of the border, there has been an increase in drug and arms trafficking, unfortunately, and also an increase in smuggling and money laundering,” says Brazil’s ambassador to Paraguay, José Antonio Marcondes de Carvalho.
“Of course, from our point of view, this requires joint work and joint prevention actions. Paraguay has been very receptive to this Brazilian cooperation, and there is a lot of work in the area of cigarette smuggling, cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking, and also joint work of investigative teams with police and prosecutors to improve investigations into transnational crimes.”