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Montevideo, June 29th 2022 - 22:12 UTC



Paraguay's Interior Minister sacked over alleged links to Brazilian drug trafficker

Tuesday, February 22nd 2022 - 21:28 UTC
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Giuzzio admitted to having spoken with the suspect “before becoming aware of his participation in a criminal organization” Giuzzio admitted to having spoken with the suspect “before becoming aware of his participation in a criminal organization”

Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benítez Tuesday decided to sack Interior Minister Arnaldo Giuzzio for the latter's alleged ties with a Brazilian drug trafficker, it was announced. He will be replaced by Federico González.

Giuzzio was summoned to the Government Palace by the President of the Republic after his alleged link with drug trafficker Marcus Vinicius Espíndola Marqués de Padua was revealed.

The now former minister had admitted he had used a truck owned by Espíndola during his vacation trip to Brazil. The alleged trafficker has been arrested in his native country.

Giuzzio's dismissal was announced during a press conference by Presidential Adviser Hernán Huttemann, who also said Cecilia Pérez had been appointed as as an adviser on security matters to the Presidency of the Republic.

Huttemann's announcement made it clear Giuzzio had not resigned on his own volition.

González promised to “continue in the firm and determined fight against organized crime, its related crimes and illegality.”

“I am going to work in direct coordination with the commander of the National Police, with the entire security team and with all the force that is necessary to reach that objective,” he added.

“Not only are we going to work in coordination and in full support of the Ministry of the Interior and the National Police Command and the entire security team, the Armed Forces, the FTC and everything that covers the field of security, but we also have express instructions to work to prevent the infiltration of organized crime in other areas”, Cecilia Pérez pointed out.

Pérez's replacement as Justice Minister is yet to be announced, Huttemann explained.

Prior to Tuesday's announcement, Paraguayan Prosecutor Federico Delfino had vowed to investigate Giuzzio's links with the drug trafficker and built up a team last week. “Of course Giuzzio will be investigated. This is relevant information for the investigation,” he told reporters.

Marques de Padua is rated as one of the largest drug traffickers in Brazil. A week ago he was arrested in Foz de Iguaçu during the so-called Operation Turf police raid.

According to the Prosecutor's Office, Giuzzio's links might have made it possible for suspect Lindomar Reges Furtado to still be at large.

”I spoke with Mr. Vinicius on more than one occasion, always about the services of his company and before becoming aware of his participation in a criminal organization,” Giuzzio had claimed on Twitter.

Categories: Politics, Brazil, Paraguay.

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