Global News

This article first appeared on El Periodista on January 12, 2022.

A Paraguayan national deputy affirmed that “drug money is in all the political parties” of her country, denounced that many leaders collect money in minor positions to later reach Congress, and warned that the authorities of the anti-drug area “know who the big drug traffickers are”.

“There is drug trafficking money in all parties, although this criminal influence is more prevalent in the Colorado Party (ANR); I want all party members involved in drug trafficking to be arrested; it was the only thing we needed, to have drug traffickers, to finish destroying the party”, warned yesterday legislator Celeste Amarilla, of the opposition Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA).

The legislator spoke on the subject after the arrest of the son of former Liberal deputy Elvio Balbuena, accused of leading a drug-trafficking operation, according to ABC Color.

Amarilla said that many leaders who reach Senate or Chamber of Deputies seats do so “financed by corrupt activities, among them drug trafficking or bribes they get for manipulating bids” from administrative posts in municipalities or governors’ offices.

“Most of them start as mayors or governors; there they collect the money for their senatorial campaign”, he affirmed.

Also, he warned, they obtain financing from “patrons” who then recover their “investment” by getting the legislators they supported to pass laws that benefit their interests.

“It is not only (the case of former president Horacio) Cartes; there are several other bosses who give money and then have laws that are in their interests”, she added.

For the congresswoman, the arrests of small-town councilors with drugs suggest that “there are more important drug traffickers”.

He also denounced that the National Anti-Drug Secretariat (Senad) knows who the “big drug traffickers” are, but does not act against them and covers them up.

“The (former head of Senad and now Minister of the Interior, Arnaldo) Giuzzio himself was one of the most important denouncers when he was a parliamentarian; now he is a friend of those under investigation”, he affirmed.