Emulating the US, Brazil Builds High-Security Wall on Paraguay Border

Brazil wants to prevent Paraguayan good from being smuggled in Brazil confirmed that it will build a steel and concrete wall along the Paraguayan border to help combat contraband in the Triple frontier area where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet. This at the same time that it has pledged to lower Mercosur barriers for junior members Paraguay and Uruguay.

According to the official Agência Brasil, the one mile long by three meters high wall perpendicular to the river Paraná, and next to the Brazilian city of Foz de Iguaçu, should be finished by next July and will be equipped with all the gadgets common to a high security presidium.

The purpose of the wall, say Brazilian authorities, is to stop smugglers from buying cheap imported goods in Paraguay's Ciudad del Este and selling them in the big Brazilian cities such as São Paulo. Computers, electronics, cigarettes, watches, brand textiles are some of the most common items smuggled.

But the Triple Frontier area also has long been suspected of harboring followers of radical groups such as Hezbollah and collecting funds for those terrorist organizations that are under the surveillance of US intelligence.

Brazil, which has a significant Arab community has always rejected US claims that the Triple frontier area has become an operational base for Middle East fundamentalists and extremists. However, according to the Brazilian press, strangely enough the initiative was leaked during the visit to Brazil of US president George Bush.

When the announcement was made Paraguayan officials flew to Brazilian capital Brasí­lia to meet with Foreign Affairs minister Celso Amorim and in Asunción the Chamber of Commerce called for the country to definitively abandon Mercosur.

"This is a repeat of the bullying attitude of the US with Mexico and their wall. It's time we leave Mercosur and fight for our rights", said Alfredo Amarillo member of the chamber.

Cristiane Larcher Attorney General from Foz de Iguaçu confirmed the construction of the wall and said it was meant to prevent smugglers sending the merchandise from Paraguay across the river Paraná to the Brazilian side.

"We're building a wall to impede the illegal action of people crossing with merchandise", said Larcher.

Besides the wall, the Brazilian government has sent fiscal task groups to work together with federal police and highway patrols to check the area including hotels, farms, rural roads plus coordination with the Judiciary to allow night searches.

Brazil's Economy Ministry said the initiative will "facilitate relations, the movement of tourists between Brazil and Paraguay plus optimizing fiscal monitoring, law enforcement and sanitary measures in the area."

Last year Brazilian fiscal authorities confiscated US$ 77 million of merchandise smuggled in from Paraguay and in the first two months of this year US$ 7 million, up 36% from a year ago, according to official data.

Merchandise smuggled from Paraguay can easily be purchased from street vendors in most major Brazilian cities and in a network of "legal" wholesale depots, usually at half the going legal price.

Landlocked and one of the least developed countries of South America, Paraguay has historically been a haven for smugglers tempted by the high tariffs systems of neighboring "giants" Argentina and Brazil.



  • Show Comments (10)

  • JGZ

    À¢€¦ you are À¢€˜the dumbÀ¢€™ Anderson
    À¢€¦you are missing the pointÀ¢€¦. Whether they throw goods or babies from the bridge, they are breaking the lawÀ¢€¦ It does not matter who gets the benefitÀ¢€¦ the law is being broken by those low lifers. A serious and responsible country needs to have laws. USA benefits a lot from those illegal people, providers of cheap labor. But those providers are breaking the lawÀ¢€¦.. you see that???? À¢€¦À¢€™dumb-bellÀ¢€™

  • Anderson

    dumb ones
    you people are dumb the wall is made so people cant throw goods down from half way of the bridge, so it wouldnt get picked up by the ones who wait for the goods down there. this helps brazil’s micro-business acctually sell some goods instead of having to compete with the cheap price of the paraguay under the table goods.

    THIS WALL IS NOT FOR BLOCKING PARAGUAIANS its only for market protection in both countries.
    so dont complain if you dont know what this is about

  • Henry Ryan

    BUSH’s Wall or Paraguay’s?
    Hmmm Bush buys 100000 acrea ranch in Paraguay and NOW THIS WALL….. Hmmmm

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    they are only doing it to make sure that they get there cut of all the money that comes and goes

    If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost.

  • u.s.guest

    U.S. operation ” return to sender”
    illegals in the u.s.a. get a ride back home …

  • ch.c.

    Has Lula not repeated many times he is against the U.S./ Mexican Wall ??????? Laugh….laugh….

    Has Lula not requested and begged Spain and Portugal 2 years ago or so to treat “fairly” the Brazilians Illegals in those countries and asked to even legalize them ?????? OF COURSE….HE DID !!!!!!!!!

    More idiot and crook and cheater than Lula, there is not 1 country president on this planet !

  • JGZ

    Condominio Fechado
    This is the reason whyÀ¢€¦.À¢€Â if you live in a glass house you should never throw rocks at your neighborÀ¢€™s windowsÀ¢€Â À¢€¦ this is also the only way some people can understand why to build a wall along the Mexican border. In other words, United States and, now, Brazil are tired of people breaking the law everyday.

    So the border with Paraguay will soon have a sign like so many of those that exist in so many Brazilian cities:

    À¢€¦..À¢€œcondominio fechadoÀ¢€Â

  • bb

    “I thought Brazilian students and the PT were against all sorts of oppression and imperialism? What happened? I haven’t seen anyone burning Brazilian flags on the streets of Sao Paulo yet. Oh wait, they do that only when Brazil is not the oppressor… I get it now. Same thing with that Petrobras brouhaha in Bolivia… since Brazil is buying gas cheap, who cares about the Bolivians, right? “

    Wait a while, there will be numerous protests and burning of flags. As soon as the usual crowd can find a way or invent a conspiracy involving the U.S.A or George Bush in the building of this “fence”. (it would be called a wall if the the U.S. were building ie. Berlin Wall, it’s only called a fence because some otehr country is building it, ie. the thing between you and your neighbors back yard)

  • aes

    Uruguay should foot half the bill.
    Its a country not a park. If you cannot defend against smuggling with what exists then you must do something about it or accept the smuggling, the criminality that it generates, like a kind of infection. Its just a fence, its not electrified, there are no mines layed along its perimeter it is just a fence. It was Uruguay’s responsibility to stop the smuggling as well as Brazil’s. Too be equitable Uruguay should pay for half of the cost of construction. Good fences make good neighbors. Good choice.

  • Marcio Vieira

    Where are the protesters?
    I thought Brazilian students and the PT were against all sorts of oppression and imperialism? What happened? I haven’t seen anyone burning Brazilian flags on the streets of Sao Paulo yet. Oh wait, they do that only when Brazil is not the oppressor… I get it now. Same thing with that Petrobras brouhaha in Bolivia… since Brazil is buying gas cheap, who cares about the Bolivians, right?

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