Archive for category Paraguay

the point B list

To refresh our memories on Paraguay: the Bangkok of Latin America, and not for nothing, in which we learn about the Tri-Border Area, the Jesuits, Chabad, organized crime, government corruption, and human trafficking, not necessarily in that order. The average American doesn’t hear about Paraguay, though it’s an organized crime paradise. Why is that? Paraguay not ready to come out of the crock pot yet? Maybe soon.

Paraguay (source)
click to enlarge
Back in 2002, think tanks discussed the Islamic threats bubbling in South America.

After September 11th, the U.S.-led “war on terror” moved swiftly into Afghanistan. Once the heavy combat had diminished, speculation turned to what the next target would be. The Philippines, the former Soviet republic of Georgia, Yemen, Somalia, and Indonesia were all discussed as possibilities. Except for a few disparate stories, the tri-border region of South America received little attention as a locus of terrorist activity despite a recent history of Islamist terrorist activity. But this region, which already has a history of mass casualty Islamic terrorism, is also an area of concern. (http://www.nti.org/e_research/e3_16a.html)

Oh, the Philippines (Abu Sayyaf), check. Georgia, check. Yemen, check. Somalia, check. Indonesia, check.

Last but not least…the Tri-Border Area….

Board of directors for that think tank include Ted Turner, Sam Nunn, Pete Dominici, Richard Lugar, etc. See think tanks: where experts go to reverse engineer plans for world domination.

At think tanks, experts figure out how to get from point A to point B. First they decide on point B, and then they reverse engineer how to arrive there from point A. When insiders do this, they call it “brainstorming” or “war games” or “simulations.” When outsiders do this, they call it “terrorism.”

This explains how a list put forth in 2002 seems so very incredibly prescient in 2010. You see, that list was not a prediction, that was a plan. That list of countries was point B: places where terrorists (will definitely) cause trouble, (just as soon as we get our people around to it).

The Tri-Border Area is on the point B list. That’s why we might pay attention to this area of South America — a very strong contender for an upcoming hot spot. Probably guaranteed.

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Bolivia will also soon have a satellite built and partly financed by China. Allegedly the low orbit satellite will help track drug cartels and smuggling.

Also, three journalists were recently threatened with kidnapping, allegedly by the Paraguayan People’s Army, a leftist group allegedly linked to FARC. The letter used newspaper clippings to threaten two reporters and Senate leader Miguel Carrizosa, and to demand the release of six EPP prisoners. Here’s the letter.

Super-wily EPP terrorists don’t leave any clues for handwriting analysts. Ha!
Paraguay has passed a bill imposing a temporary suspension of constitutional rights in parts of the country in a crackdown on violence, it is reported.

The 30-day suspension in parts of the north gives the armed forces greater powers to combat a left-wing group. The Paraguayan People’s Army (PPA) is responsible for killing four people, sources in the country’s congress said. The emergency will allow troops and police to detain suspects and ban public meetings for 30 days. President Fernando Lugo asked for the measures three days ago after a police officer and three farm workers were killed in an attack on Wednesday.

Investigators in the country claim the rebels belong to the PPA, a small group with suspected links to left-wing rebels in Colombia. “These fugitives of the Paraguayan People’s Party should be captured, because everyone has the right to live in peace,” Mr Lugo said as he defended his request for a state of suspension, AFP news agency reported on Saturday.

So this is like the Patriot Act for Paraguay. Temporary, sure. Let’s suppose something goes wrong in the meantime and they maybe have to extend that or make it permanent… ? But really, nothing to worry about because this guy Lugo is a great guy. He loves the people he would never do anything like that. Wait till you see…

[First of all, he's a real ladies' man. AND a Roman Catholic bishop.

kiss kiss hug hug

The 39-year-old added that Lugo gets full marks between the sheets, and claims six other women will soon step forward to claim he also sired their children. "I can guarantee that Lugo is a phenomenon in everything, not only in politics," she said. (NY Daily News, Forget Monica Lewinsky... 4/23/09)

One of his lovers was a teenager, which technically makes him a pedophile.

"Viviana at her Confirmation, the age when she was sexually abused by Bishop Lugo."

Bishop Lugo's Harem

If the many alleged paternities of Lugo are proved true, we would be facing the case of a Catholic Bishop who – at a time when he was fully exercising his orders and episcopal functions – simultaneously had sexual affairs with three to seventeen different women. Even in this post-Vatican II era where we have witnessed all types of moral corruption, Lugo sets a remarkable record of depravity.

Here I believe we have a good X-ray vision of the kind of man presented by important sectors of the Church and the media as “the Bishop of the poor” and a sincere combatant against corruption.]

So, anyway. For everyone NOT paying attention, the official narrative goes that he’s a big lefty liberation theology priest who loves the poor, fights for the people, (ok so he loves the ladies too), blah blah blah. It all seemed so promising at first. He enjoyed the strong support of the Paraguayan people.

He got elected in April 2008.

At the beginning of November he fired all his military leaders without explanation.

ASUNCION, Paraguay — Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo fired his military chiefs Wednesday, a day after denying he had worries about a coup amid calls for his impeachment. In a statement given to journalists at the presidential palace, Lugo named new commanders for the army, air force and navy without explaining his reasons. The new chiefs will assume their posts Thursday, said the statement signed by the president….

Since winning the presidency last year and ending 61 years of domination by the conservative Colorado Party, Lugo has been trying to push reforms that aim to benefit Paraguay’s numerous poor. He has criticized an elite class that “sits comfortably in air-conditioned offices,” while the poor “survive on just one meal a day if they are lucky . . . without safe drinking water, surrounded by misery.” Lugo’s rivals have been searching for ways to force him out of office before his term ends in August 2013. Last week, a majority of lawmakers threatened to mount an impeachment trial over comments he allegedly made in a poor neighborhood that some interpreted as a call for class warfare. Lugo denied saying that.

That article is dated 11/4/09.
The US immediately announced a big donation of equipment to form an elite counter-terrorism unit for the Paraguayan Army.

On 4 November 2009, the United States announced they would donate US$1.39 million in equipment towards the formation of an elite unit of highly trained troops in the Paraguayan army. Backed by US funding (sources put the total amount of the expedition at US$3 million) and training from SOUTHCOM, the troops are trained in counterterrorism strategies and are to be equipped with the latest gear and technology. Yet in spite of their training as counter-terrorism experts, how and why they are used will be up to the discretion of Paraguayan authorities, according to Liliana Ayalde, the US ambassador to Paraguay.

…The US has a vested interest in keeping Paraguay terrorism-free. The loosely regulated tri-border area, particularly Ciudad del Este, is listed as a rising area of activity for terrorist activity such as training and money laundering, and US authorities have been monitoring the region for signs of Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terrorist cells. Thus, any aid that is used to combat terrorist forces in Paraguay may be money well spent, and Paraguay’s recent history battling what are considered homegrown terrorist organizations such as the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) is likely seen favorably by Washington.

Aha so it’s all good. The US helps to fight terrorism. The US respects the sovereignty of Paraguay. The EPP is becoming a household name, though the movement has obscure origins. Hmmmm.

The future of the EPP will depend on how President Fernando Lugo, a former Roman Catholic bishop, chooses to act. Will the president allow for a military offensive, including search-and-destroy missions, against the EPP, should its activities continue? Or will Lugo’s religious background affect his decisions?

Oh HAHAHAHA! I’m sure he doesn’t mean to be so coy. Of COURSE Lugo’s religious background will affect his decisions. No doubt he’s a Sabbatean, just pretending to be a Catholic, but obviously not taking Catholicism all that seriously, which means that absolutely nothing will hold him back from search and destroy missions to get the wily EPP terrorists, with their shady backgrounds. He’s already on the case requesting special powers from the Paraguayan congress! Check!

No problemo.

^^^^^^^

Perhaps, also, maybe, Lugo works for the CIA? Could that be the explanation for all this juicy cooperation?

Fernando Lugo and George W. Bush

1. Ties to the CIA, NGOs, and known operatives

All the scaffolding of the CIA and its extensions and derivatives such as USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy and the media addicted to empire, was played by Bishop Fernando Lugo on 20 April.  In Paraguay, noticed that NGOs received heavy donations from the arrival in the country by Ambassador James Cason, a known destabilizing sponsored by Otto Reich. The aim of the covert operation was to meet the alternation in power, placing the bishop Fernando Lugo as president of Paraguay.

James Cason, Ambassador, Paraguay Singing Sensation. (”James Cason, the U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay, has achieved rock star status in that country. Literally.”)

Public Diplomacy and Covert Propaganda: The Declassified Record of Ambassador Otto Juan Reich

2. Ties to youth and charitable groups, “civil society”

Among the many organizations benefiting from these dollars distributed by the administration of George W. Bush who supported the campaign of the bishop, stood Management and Local Youth House, which financed with funds from USAID and IAF Tekojoja movements and LDCs, as in Nicaragua, the NED and other agencies of the CIA led alternative choice Violeta Chamorro in 1989. NGOs and voluntary-what we now know as civil society, are known as an extension of the neoliberal policies of the U.S. worldwide.

3. Promoting democracy through NGOs, using them to control the media, promoting nepotism

The CIA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID or USAID) have a central role in the scheme of promoting political ideas and facts favorable to the empire, and they added a new agency, created in 1983, named The National Endowment for Democracy (NED). In Paraguay, the NED has a total control over the press media, which returns a list indicating which political referents can promote. …U.S. Ambassador James Cason, like a Pied Piper dedicated to singing Paraguayan folklore, was determined to align all NGOs and foundations that receive U.S. dollars cleric behind the president, nephew of the CIA Epifanio Méndez (turned in by Agee) and that perpetuate the family tradition today.

[About Epifanio Mendez Fleitas "His life unfolded in the worlds of politics, music and intellectual activity. Thus, he held various positions in government (he was police chief between 1949 and 1952 and chairman of the Central Bank of Paraguay from 1952 to 1955 ). It was clear and undisguised criticism against the first signs of what became the long and bloody dictatorship of General Alfredo Stroessner ( 1954 - 1989 ) which earned him jail, torture and a lengthy exile in Uruguay , the Argentina and United States of America."]

[About Philip Agee: "In 1968 Philip Agee was finally disgusted with his dirty work as a CIA officer in Ecuador, Uruguay, and Mexico. He submitted a letter of resignation and immediately slipped into Cuba, then went to France and Britain. As he wrote his memoirs while scraping by on handouts, he frequently wondered if some of the people who were helping him could be trusted. The answer was "no" -- a typewriter that one friend loaned him was discovered to contain a homing transmitter. Finally his book "Inside the Company" was published in 1975, launching his career as history's most celebrated anti-CIA activist. The CIA kept harassing Agee, even though he retains his U.S. citizenship and has never been charged with a crime. He was expelled from Britain, France, and Holland, and his U.S. passport was revoked in 1979. Today he lives in Germany, is still trying to get his passport back, and does speaking tours on U.S. college campuses."]

4. Ties to Freedom House and our best friends

The charge of distributing the dollars for “change” was Dr. Carl Gershman, president of the NED. The Freedom House functioned as a funnel through which passed granting the NED funds, and most of them ended up in the pockets of outstanding communicators. Radio Nanduti through Freedom House, received large sums of money from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Leonard Sussman, CIA and the Executive Director of Freedom House, a visit to Paraguay in late 1987, led by Humberto Rubin, establishing contacts with various organizations to receive funds after the NED. The aim was to “grow” the idea of change.
Fernando Lugo and Hillary Clinton

Since then, these organizations promoted the scaffolding structure that now controls everything in Paraguay can be said, paradoxically, under the guise of defending freedom of expression.

This article sums it all up, the way many powerful forces came together to bring Lugo to power.

To have the backing of a warlord who ruled the country for decades, the assistance of the U.S. State Department and a group of companies in over 130 countries worldwide, and over one hundred powerful companies including hotels, travel agencies, fisheries, food factories, weapons industries, farms, resorts, restaurants, printing and publishing, is the dream of any Latin American politician….Not surprisingly, the favored of the Catholic fraternity, Ambassador James Cason and the press have sealed a pact with far-right supporters of late dictator. Earlier, during the transition, is characterized by profit from the gifts of the largest drug trafficker in U.S. history, General Andres Rodriguez, famous for his partnership with heroin dealer Auguste Ricord. Then agreed to a figurehead dictator’s son, Juan Carlos Wasmosy, and finally with the stem of one of his top ministers, Luis Angel Gonzalez Macchi. . .

All the scaffolding of the CIA and its extensions and derivatives such as USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, NGOs and the press that subsidize addicted to the empire, was made available to the Bishop Fernando Lugo by James Cason, destabilizing star of W. Bush.

It’s not for nothing. A set up like this does not happen by accident. It will not be wasted.

UPDATE:
Iran’s growing influence in Latin America, 4/24/10
Hezbollah, Hamas activity in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, 4/23/10

not for nothing

A curious story from Paraguay…

Belgian Couple Murdered in Paraguay

ASUNCION – A Belgian couple was shot to death at their farm in Piribebuy, located 55 kilometers (34 miles) east of Asuncion, when they resisted a robbery attempt by four men, Paraguayan police said on Thursday.

Jacques Pierre F.G. Graulle and his wife, Thoelen Marcelle Roberte Henriette, who owned the Don Juan farm, were killed Wednesday night.

The farm is located on one of the roads that leads to Piribebuy, a town in Central province.

A foreign citizen, who was not identified by police, told investigators she was dining with the couple when four armed men wearing ski masks entered the farmhouse.

Graulle fired at the assailants with his firearm, killing one of the men and wounding another, who fled from the scene with the other two men, the eyewitness said.

Graulle’s body was found on the floor with several gunshot wounds, while his wife was dead in a chair and the assailant’s body was on the floor, police said.

No word what the “robbers” wanted. No word on the identity of the foreign citizen, and why she was not harmed by the “robbers.” No word on what kind of farming is going on there outside of Piribebuy…..

No stories in the Belgium papers either about the death of their compatriots. Nothing to see here.

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Last month I wrote about the Tri-Border Area, where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet.

organized crime paradise

Lots of organized crime and human trafficking takes place in this area.

Paraguay (click to enlarge, source)

The capital of Paraguay, Asuncion, is opposite to the TBA, on the Argentina border, and Paraguay is less than 200 miles across at that point. And there’s a Pan American Highway running along that exact route. How convenient is that?!

Pirebebuy lies 34 miles east of Asuncion, 5 miles south of the Pan American Highway. It’s on that little road between Caacupe and Paraguari (if you enlarge the map). Lots of lush green countryside. Off the beaten path, but not too far off the path. In the middle of nowhere, but on a route to somewhere.

^^^^^^^

It appears that Paraguay had a long-standing corruption problem as reported in 2002, at least according to Transparency International, a Berlin-based watchdog group.

“In Paraguay, corruption remains systematic,” the annual report said in giving Paraguay a score of 1.7 out of 10, worse than all but Nigeria and Bangladesh. (Finland received the highest score, with 9.5. The United States was 16th with 7.7.)

…Half the country’s retailers do not pay value added tax on the goods they sell and the government only collects around 35 percent of the taxes it is owed, according to experts. Of those that do file returns, 93 percent cheat in some way, according to one recent study.

The government, prompted by local groups and international institutions such as the World Bank, last year charged a joint parliamentary-civilian commission with changing the culture of graft. Focusing on customs, public-works contracts, and the judiciary – the three main areas where corruption is worst – the commission hopes to identify more offenders and more forcefully punish them.

It appears that Paraguay still had a corruption problem in 2006.

The U.S. Embassy in Paraguay said in its annual report, published Wednesday, that Paraguay suffered from police corruption and an inefficient justice system, both of which had a hand in helping drug trafficking. Benitez responded that the only well founded accusation made by the U.S. embassy in Paraguay had been that against former narcotics division chief Aristides Cabral, who was currently in jail. The U.S. report also detailed international cooperation in the world-wide fight against illegal drugs, and identified Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay as being trafficking routes and money laundering locations.

And as of last year… still a problem.

On January 12th [2009], Martin Ocampos Paez, the director of Paraguay’s Hugua Nandu FM community radio station, was assassinated at his home in the city of Concepcion. The crime raised a red flag for activists concerned with Paraguay’s ongoing battle with large-scale corruption, not to mention those monitoring press freedom. More specifically, members of Paraguay’s journalists union have speculated that Paez’s death was linked to comments he had made regarding ties between high-level Paraguayan politicians and illegal drug trafficking.

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  • There are approximately 5 million people in Paraguay.
  • Ninety-five percent of the people in Paraguay are Roman Catholic.
  • Of the remaining five percent, most of those are Protestant.
  • About 70,000 people are Mormons.
  • About 1,000 are Jews, one of the most isolated groups of Jews in the world.

The great majority of Jews live in the capital, Asuncion.

The Paraguayan community is publicly represented by the Consejo Representativo Israelita de Paraguay. There are at least ten other Jewish organizations, including WIZO, B’nai B’rith, and several youth movements. There are three synagogues: one Ashkenazi, one Sephardi, and one affiliated with Chabad that distributes kosher food to the community. These institutions function without a rabbi. The community maintains a Jewish school, the Colegio Integral Estado de Israel, which provides both primary and secondary education for the majority of Jewish children. There is a Jewish museum with a Holocaust memorial in Asuncion.
Israel
Israel and Paraguay maintain full diplomatic relations.

(http://www.haruth.com/JewsParaguay.html)

The young rabbi of Asuncion Chabad, Levi Feigelstock, was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His wife is from London. (http://www.gelfmagazine.com/archives/sabbath_in_asuncin.php)

The Chabad rabbis are not so different from the thousands of Mormons who arrive in all corners of the globe to spread the Good Word: They are young and energetic, having been specially groomed for their commission to a place they likely have never heard of and that requires a worrying number of inoculations.

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Lots of people feel they have commissions in Paraguay, evidently. Three Jesuits arrived in Asuncion, Paraguay in 1588. They came from Brazil and began to proselytize the Guarani Indians who lived in the area. Some tourists visit Paraguay to visit the many Jesuit ruins.

The Jesús and Trinidad Jesuit Ruins are located in Itapúa Department, Paraguay, and are religious mission that are sill preserved and that were founded by the Jesuit missioners during the colonization of South America in the XVII century.

These religious missions were created in 1609 and developed for 150 years. Both Jesuit missions were declared Historical Patrimony of Humankind by the UNESCO in 1993.

The Jesuit Missions of Paraguay are considered some of the most impressive creations of the religious work of the Jesuit, and are testimony of the historical richness of the country.

main altar of Jesus de Tavarangue
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…Many of those trafficked through the triple frontier are destined for the illegal labour market in Brazil or Argentina. The trade in babies for adoption is also widely reported. But a large proportion end up as sex workers. Many end up in brothels across the region, although a high number are destined for the triple frontier’s own thriving sex industry.

Children are particularly vulnerable to human traffickers. Charities working with at-risk children in the border region estimate that as many as 3,500 young people could be involved. “Many girls are trafficked via the pique. It’s all highly organised”, explains Marcelina Antunez, director of Luz de Infancia, a children’s care centre in the Argentine town of Puerto Iguazú.

Driving the trade is the flood of foreign tourists who come to visit the world famous Iguazú waterfalls. Much of the demand for prostitution is casual. Yet the region also attracts a hardened group of sex tourists.

And furthermore…

Immigration officer Emilio Osses, who oversees one of the Argentine checkpoints in the area, said that contrary to popular belief, this is not the worst trafficking hotspot on Argentina’s border. He says that this tri-border area is heavily controlled — saturated with officers from at least eight local, federal and international agencies, including lots of CIA agents.

Busy busy busy.

*******

Let’s recap. Paraguay is a landlocked country in South America with a population of about five million people. On the eastern border it connects to the infamous TBA, known organized crime paradise and home to many terrorists and criminals, including, allegedly, al qaeda operatives.

At the same time, it’s a beautiful tourist destination, including, allegedly, for a hardened group of sex tourists.

Also, oddly enough (cough), there’s nothing to worry about because it’s an area crawling with officers from various local, federal and international agencies, including the CIA.

Meanwhile, surprising us no end, practically inconceivable, a thriving corridor of drug trafficking and human trafficking takes place, visible from hotel pools, including children and women as sex slaves being marched through the jungle. Pretty much right in the open.

The Pan American Highway cuts across Paraguay from the TBA to the capital, Asuncion. Asuncion is the home of most of the country’s Jewish population, who account for 0.0002 of the total population. Despite their small numbers, they are impressively organized with Sephardic, Ashkenazi and Chabad resources, a Jewish museum and Holocaust memorial.

And for good measure, the Jesuits kicked it all off 400+ years ago by converting the natives to Catholicism.

Have I forgotten anyone? Oh yes, the Mormons. They got in the action in the late 1980s.

*******

“The Jesuits’ goal was the destruction of the Protestant Reformation leading to a return of one pope sitting in judgment on all mankind. The Rothschilds goal was to control the wealth of the planet. And the Frankist vision was the destruction of Jewish ethics to be replaced by a religion based on the exact opposite of God’s intentions. When these factions blended, a bloody war against humanity, with the Jews on the front lines, erupted and it is reaching its very pinnacle at this moment.” source

the Bangkok of Latin America

A lot of human trafficking passes through Texas on it’s way into the United States and onward. Some statistics:

  • 18,000 foreign nationals trafficked into the US each year
  • plus an estimated 200,000 American children at high risk for trafficking into the sex industry each year
  • major ports of entry are southern and central Texas, Southern California, parts of Arizona and New Mexico
  • emerging ports include Atlanta, Houston, Orlando and Washington DC
  • the I-10 corridor is a main route for human traffickers in the US
  • after drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with illegal arms as the second largest criminal industry in the world
  • human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry

^^^^^^^

On February 2, Penny brought to our attention Dave McGowan’s latest, Sleazefest in Seattle. (Penny has an extensive Dave McGowan collection at her place, please avail thyself.) Since Dave’s site may be experiencing some sort of technical difficulty at the moment, you can also read Sleazefest in Seattle over at SOTT.

In completely unrelated news, various concerned parties have recently reported that Vancouver is a major hub for trafficking in a most unsavory type of freight: humans. And much of that freight is said to come from the same place those alleged cherries were supposed to be shipped out to; as University of British Columbia law professor Benjamin Perrin recently noted, “Vancouver is considered to be a hub for Pacific human trafficking.” The British Columbia Human Rights Coalition concurred, reporting that, “Canada has been identified as both a transit and a destination point for human trafficking, and Vancouver has been singled out by the US state department as a port of major concern.”

Nice.

And it gets better. According to far more shocking allegations (http://www.galacticfriends.com/updates/galactic-friends/1784-galactic-federation.html), there is no shortage of other unsavory freight being shipped through Vancouver, including illegal drugs and weapons, and, perhaps inevitably, child pornography. According to witness statements taken from social workers, tribal elders and self-described victims, Vancouver is home to a protected network of pedophiles engaged in such pursuits as rape, torture, murder, child pornography, production of snuff films, and ethnic cleansing. Other then all that though, it seems like a great place to hold the Olympic games, especially since, as Perrin noted, “Traffickers will view the 2010 Olympics as the biggest business opportunity for them in decades.”

The network is said to be protected by virtually all levels of law enforcement and the judiciary, as well as by well-placed confederates in the church, the media, and other institutions of the state. If all of that sounds all too familiar, it is probably because you’ve spent time swimming in the sewers of the Franklin case in Omaha, Nebraska (http://franklinscandal.com/), or possibly the Marc Dutroux case in Belgium (http://www.illuminati-news.com/0/snuff2.htm).

Are you with me so far?

^^^^^^

Now we have Haiti, and Puello, and El Salvador to sort through. I was just following that line of thought back down into South America. There’s a place in South America called the Tri-Border Area (TBA), where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet.

Back in 2002, CNN reported, from various unspecified “intelligence sources,” that al Qaeda terrorists were meeting in this area and plotting to attack US and Israeli interests, in conjunction with Hezbollah.

CNN has learned from coalition intelligence sources that several top terrorist operatives met recently in the area — where the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay intersect — to plan attacks against U.S. and Israeli targets in the Western hemisphere. Sources said the meetings, which took place in and around Ciudad del Este, were attended by representatives of Hezbollah and other groups sympathetic to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist network….Other indications of the threat came from intelligence sources in the Middle East, who told CNN of a new terrorist effort aimed at U.S. and Israeli interests and coordinated by a man named Imad Mugniyeh.

Argentine officials point to more evidence they say indicates terrorist activity in the tri-border area — thousands of U.S. dollars bearing stamps from Lebanese currency exchange banks, tens of thousands of dollars in phony bills, and receipts from wire transfers made between the tri-border area and the Middle East.

Oh dear.

In 2003, a paper titled Terrorist and Organized Crime Groups in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of South America (pdf) described in detail the many criminal and Islamist elements from around the world operating in the TBA, an organized crime paradise. Chinese, Russian, Lebanese, etc. Eventually, the TBA came to the attention of the appropriate authorities.

The bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires on March 17, 1992, followed by the bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (Asociación Mutual Israeli-Argentina —AMIA), a Jewish community center, in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, focused the attention of the TBA countries, Israel, and the United States on the TBA because the investigation into both attacks led back to Hizballah operatives in the TBA.

There’s actually a very well-developed narrative about this area being connected to Hezbollah, Hamas, Lebanon, Iran and al Qaeda, among others. (Terrorist threat in the Tri-Border Area: myth or reality? 2004; Organized Crime: From Trafficking to Terrorism, Volume 2, pp. 159-161)

The narrative does not mention human trafficking, however. And the other thing conspicuously missing: Jews in any context other than victim of the organized criminals in the TBA.

The criminals from the TBA used some US banks to launder their money.

One of the most well known money laundering scandals involved Banestado, the bank of Brazil’s Parana state. In 1995, five banks in the tri-border region, including Banestado, were authorized to open currency exchange accounts, known as CC-5 accounts. CC-5 accounts quickly became popular in money laundering, and brokers opened hundreds of fake CC-5 accounts, into which criminals deposited millions of reals. The money was then wired in dollars to the Banestado branch in New York City and from there to other banks, usually in countries considered to be tax havens. Money changers and complicit Banestado officials took cuts from each transaction. More than 250 phony CC-5 accounts have since been identified, and it is suspected that as much as $30 billion passed through Banestado accounts in the U.S. between 1996 and 1999, a portion of which was likely laundered. The case is still being investigated. (6/10/08)

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But human trafficking does, of course, take place, and it is a huge and fast-growing organized crime industry. And it takes place in the TBA.

Sit by the swimming pool of the exclusive Iguazú Jungle hotel and you can watch the “contrabandistas” emerging from the undergrowth. All day, an army of smugglers can be seen passing along the mountainous path that separates Argentina from Brazil. … Everything from fake branded clothing to Class A drugs are ferried back and forth along these clandestine routes. The list of contraband goods now also extends to human beings.

…Many of those trafficked through the triple frontier are destined for the illegal labour market in Brazil or Argentina. The trade in babies for adoption is also widely reported. But a large proportion end up as sex workers. Many end up in brothels across the region, although a high number are destined for the triple frontier’s own thriving sex industry.

Children are particularly vulnerable to human traffickers. Charities working with at-risk children in the border region estimate that as many as 3,500 young people could be involved. “Many girls are trafficked via the pique. It’s all highly organised”, explains Marcelina Antunez, director of Luz de Infancia, a children’s care centre in the Argentine town of Puerto Iguazú.

Driving the trade is the flood of foreign tourists who come to visit the world famous Iguazú waterfalls. Much of the demand for prostitution is casual. Yet the region also attracts a hardened group of sex tourists.

…”The triple frontera is the Bangkok of Latin America…after the tsunami, many sex tourists started coming here instead of Asia,” notes Cynthia Bendlin, director of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for the triple frontier area. IOM runs a number of awareness programmes to highlight the dangers of the trafficking trade. But it is an uphill struggle. Many of the children most at risk either live on the street or come from very impoverished families, Ms Bendlin explains. (2007)

A tourist destination, with beautiful hotels. Many tourists come to see the Igauzu falls. But hey, there’s really nothing to worry about because the place is crawling with feds and agency people, including CIA, on account of all the Arab terrorists there, so relax! Who would dare do any illegal trafficking with all these law enforcement people around?

Immigration officer Emilio Osses, who oversees one of the Argentine checkpoints in the area, said that contrary to popular belief, this is not the worst trafficking hotspot on Argentina’s border. He says that this tri-border area is heavily controlled — saturated with officers from at least eight local, federal and international agencies, including lots of CIA agents.
And it’s largely because of the intelligence community that there’s a lot of hype around the tri-border, he said. There is a large and important Arab population here, and it’s believed that the terrorist cells that bombed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires had support in this area.

“That’s why it has this stigma of terrorism, corruption, and illegal trafficking,” Osses said. “In reality, the tri-border area suffers from propaganda.” But Osses goes on to admit that there’s a lot of room for illegal trafficking here. In the high season, 30,000 people per day cross the triple border — and that’s just at the official checkpoints. Like any border, much more of it is uncontrolled.

Jesus God, Mr. Osses. Do you think there’s a connection between all those agency people and the trafficking?

We’ll know our disinformation program is complete
when everything the American public believes is false.
– William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)

^^^^^^^

So, anyway, it must be time to change the subject. New York Times, July 17, 2009: Inquiry on 1994 Blast at Argentina Jewish Center Gets New Life. Oh PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!

Despite all the international attention, despite investigative help from Israel and the United States, no one has been convicted for the July 18, 1994, bombing of the community center, in which 85 people died and more than 300 were injured….But suddenly, an investigation that former President Néstor Kirchner called a national disgrace has received new urgency and is again raising hopes among Jewish groups, though significant concerns about the inquiry remain.

last month, a federal judge here, Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, ordered the international capture of Samuel Salman El Reda, a 43-year-old Colombian citizen whom prosecutors here had accused of helping coordinate the local Hezbollah cell that Argentine investigators said had carried out the bombing.

Investigators here believe that they have solved the case in principle, having accused the Iranian government of planning and financing the attack, and Hezbollah of executing those plans.

But some experts, including a former American F.B.I. agent who assisted the Argentines in their investigation, are skeptical about the claims of direct Iranian involvement. “The guilt field was painted with a bit too broad a brush,” said the former agent, James Bernazzani, who led the F.B.I.’s Hezbollah operations unit in the late 1990s.

…Previous inquiries were riddled with incompetence, witnesses who were threatened and bribed, stolen evidence and accusations of a cover-up involving the former Argentine president Carlos Menem. The Argentines, nevertheless, maintain that Iran was behind the attack, and have had limited relations with Tehran partly because of the investigation’s importance to the nation’s 230,000 Jews, the largest Jewish community in Latin America. The 1994 bombing came two years after the Israeli Embassy here was bombed, killing 29 people, a case that also remains unsolved.

Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who took over the investigation in 2005, has intensified a line of inquiry that Mr. Galeano had played down: the involvement of Iran.

In 2006, Mr. Nisman formally accused several members of Iran’s government of planning and financing the bombing, including former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Central to the indictments was an Iranian defector, Abdolghassem Meshabi, who said that the plot had been hatched in Tehran and that Iranian officials had paid Mr. Menem about $10 million to help cover up Iran’s involvement.

And guess what? Yes, it all comes back to the TBA. Mr. Nisman has it all figured out. I mean, just look what he says.

Mr. Nisman, meanwhile, is pressing on with his investigation of Mr. El Reda. In the weeks before the bombing, Mr. El Reda shuttled between “safe houses” in Buenos Aires and a red brick house in Foz do Iguaçu, a Brazilian town in the Triple Frontier area where Argentina meets Brazil and Paraguay, investigators said.

From millions of phone call records and the help of an unidentified Hezbollah operative, investigators say they were able to piece together evidence of a terrorist cell involving Mr. El Reda that kept in close contact with Beirut leading up to the bombing.

On the morning of July 1, 1994, Mr. Nisman said, Mr. El Reda made a call from the international airport here to a cellphone registered in Foz do Iguaçu, a call that may have set off the final phase of the attack.

Other calls to the cellphone were made from public phone centers near the Jewish community center and near a mosque in Buenos Aires where the cultural attaché at the Iranian Embassy, one of the people charged in 2006, spent a great deal of time, Mr. Nisman wrote in court papers. Mr. El Reda had forged close ties with the Iranian attaché, Mr. Nisman said.

Calls were often made from those same locations to the communications center of Hezbollah in Beirut and to known militants in the Triple Frontier, Mr. Nisman said.

Mr. Bernazzani warned that that “doesn’t prove anything,” because what had been said on the calls was not known. “Telephones don’t get indicted, people do,” he said.

Mr. Nisman, nevertheless, said that at 7:41 a.m. on the day of the bombing a final call was made from Aeroparque airport in Buenos Aires. Forty minutes later, a flight bound for Puerto Iguazú in the Triple Frontier took off. Mr. Nisman said he believed that Mr. El Reda made the call before boarding the plane.

Then, at 9:53 a.m., a van loaded with about 600 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil exploded in front of the community center. A few days later Mr. El Reda left South America for Lebanon, where he still lives with his family, Mr. Nisman said.

Boy it makes a person wonder if Alberto NISMAN belongs to the largest Jewish community in Latin America, given the alacrity of his beliefs.

Not that it matters. Perish the thought.

^^^^^^^

In closing, I would just like to remind you that the 2016 Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro.

So happy.
“Traffickers will view the 2010 2016 Olympics as the biggest business opportunity for them in decades.”