The European Union's Ambassador in Asunción Monday said he feared Paraguay could end up turning into a narco-state if proper measures are not taken.
Some people probably exaggerate when they talk about Paraguay being a narco-state. I think they are exaggerations, but I think it is important to keep in mind that this possibility in the long term cannot be ruled out if the necessary and timely measures are not taken, Javier García de Viedma said in a radio interview.
He added that when he arrived in the country, less than a year ago, one of the issues that caught his attention was the weight organized crime had on Paraguay's daily life.
Fundamentally, since the attack in San Bernardino, I had the impression that a red line had been crossed and that there was a message from organized crime. Is there a risk? Yes, there is a risk, but there are also measures, programs, collaboration, not only from the European Union, but also from other countries, and there are very worthy people with great determination to put an end to this. Risks, yes, but also means and will, the Spanish diplomat elaborated.
García de Viedma recalled that the largest cocaine shipment seized in Europe, 23 tons, stemmed from Paraguay.
”Paraguay is becoming a transit point (for drugs). We have known this for some time and we have to fight against it and the Paraguayan authorities are doing so and we are also contributing to making it as effective as possible,” he also explained.
Since organized crime is transnational in its nature, the type of cooperation carried out by the EU is regional, not bilateral, García de Viedma also pointed out while he underlined three European programs dedicated to this matter; namely the Latin America, Caribbean and EU Cooperation Program on Drug Policies (Copolad), the Program of Assistance against Transnational Organized Crime (PAcCTO), and the Eurofront, which specifically works on across-the-border trafficking.
Organized crime is of such a nature that it does not seek to create a State. If organized crime considers having a state in a remote part of Asia or Africa or Latin America, it would be relatively easy to fight it, García de Viedma also highlighted.
Organized crime functions in such a way that it prefers to control the levers of the state, to manipulate the strings so that the state becomes the stage where crime goes unpunished, the ambassador added.
Paraguay has had sustained growth before the pandemic, between 4 and 5 % for quite some time. Over a period of more than ten years, this changes the country, he also said.
On the other hand, Paraguay has something that belongs to the future, which many countries are fighting for and it costs a lot to get, which is green and surplus energy. That makes it an additional element to favor investment,” he added.
(Source: Última Hora)