Behind Drugs’ Glare, Paraguay’s Illegal Cigarette Trade Flourishes

A worker carries packages of goods to send outside the country, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, May 13, 2015 (AP photo by Jorge Saenz).
A worker carries packages of goods to send outside the country, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, May 13, 2015 (AP photo by Jorge Saenz).
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On Sept. 15, police in Paraguay seized 650 kilograms of marijuana in Curuguaty, in the country’s southeast region near the border with Brazil. Substantial as this seizure was, it was not in itself a big story in a country where authorities claimed they seized 462 tons of marijuana in 2013. Paraguay is notoriously one of the largest producers of marijuana in Latin America. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Paraguay has in recent years produced approximately half of South America’s marijuana, second only in Latin America to Mexico. The estimated 600 metric tons of marijuana […]

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