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A state of emergency has been declared in the Brazilian border town of Guaraciaba. The storm damaged 70% of the buildings, as well as power lines and communications, in the town with the population of 10,000.
At least 10 people died and 50 were injured when the storm, described as "a violent tornado," hit the town of Santa Rosa in the northeastern Argentinean province of Misiones
The storm also damaged homes in Paraguay.
San Pedro mayor Orlando Wolfart described the devastation as "incredible".
"This is something we've never seen," he told reporters.
In Paraguay there were reports that 700 rural properties, as well as crops, had been damaged.
The temperature in the capital Asuncion fell from 35C to 12C.
Jun 8th, 2010
Dr. Maria Velez de Berliner said that the “FARC is not interested in attacking the U.S, they don’t have the field capability to do so.” However, she warns that FARC’s business with other terrorists and drug traffickers does threaten the U.S.
She also mentioned that the FARC is working with Chinese gangs in the tri-border area of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. These gangs could potentially buy and upgrade the FARC’s semi-submersibles and use them in their human trafficking efforts, allowing them to potentially insert operatives into the U.S.
Al-Qaeda also will benefit from the FARC’s new ventures, and could conceivably pay them, or the Mexican drug lords, to help them smuggle in operatives. In fact, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, Al-Shabaab, may have already done so as someone connected to the group oversaw the smuggling of 270 Somalis into the U.S. through Mexico.
June 09, 2010
“International terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, have also reportedly raised funding for their terrorist activities through linkages formed with DTOs in South America, particularly those operating in the tri-border area (TBA) of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina,” stated CRS in an April 30 report.
(AFP) – 2 days ago
Interpol said Tuesday it has arrested a Lebanese national suspected of funneling money to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah in Paraguay in the tri-border area with Argentina and Brazil.
Moussa Hamdan, 38, was arrested in Ciudad del Este, part of the Triple Frontier, a region the United States has repeatedly cited as being exploited by militant groups that "finance terrorist activities."
The Interpol chief in Paraguay, Jose Chena, said justice officials would decide within about six weeks whether to extradite Hamdan to the United States, where an arrest warrant has been issued against him.
05 January 2011
An appeals court in Paraguay on Tuesday ruled in favor of extraditing a Lebanese man wanted in the United States on charges linked to raising funds for the militant group Hezbollah.
Moussa Ali Hamdan, 38, was arrested in mid-June 2010 in a hotel in Ciudad del Este, the hub of the busy and often lawless tri-border area between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
It’s known that Hezbollah has established itself in the tri-border area (TBA) of South America where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay meet.
Support from South American countries like Bolivia and Venezuela has allowed Hezbollah to operate freely in South America. The group’s ties to the Iranian government, paired with Iran’s interest in relationships with South American countries, could be a recipe for disaster, some experts say.
Other experts on the panel agreed that at the moment Hezbollah didn’t present an immediate threat, but they said that it could in the future.
Witnesses suggested Hezbollah was positioning in the Americas as a defense in case United States attacked Iran.
The Brazilian military has sent thousands of troops to the country's Western border to combat drug and weapons smuggling.
The operation involving the country's army, navy and air force is meant to target illegal activities and exert more control over its vast borders.
July 30, 2013
Smugglers therefore have a plethora of entry points to choose from, though many base their operations in the so-called Tri-Border region, where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay intersect. Chinese, Lebanese, and Syrian traders have come to dominate the area, setting up electronics shops in Paraguay for deal-seeking Brazilians and stealthily moving contraband across national borders.
"The Brazilian state and military police are trying to regain control over the [Tri-Border] region and have increased their presence there," says José Carlos Aguiar, Phd, an anthropologist at Leiden University who has extensively studied illegal trade across Latin America.
According to a recent report in Argentina's La Nación newspaper, Hezbollah's presence in Latin America is now the strongest it has ever been, with the terrorist group maintaining a particularly strong presence in the so-called Triple Frontier - the tri-border area along the junction of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil, where some of the region's most dangerous drug cartels operate.
But the terrorist group's activities in Latin America are not limited to criminal "fundraising" enterprises. The paper reports that some 100 Hezbollah terrorist sleeper cells are currently stationed in the region, primed and ready to carry out attacks when the orders are given.
The convergence of Iran-sponsored radical Islam with transnational organized crime in Latin America is a serious threat to the national security of the United States, especially in the tri-border area, or TBA, where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay converge.
Congress and the executive branch have a panoply of tools at their disposal to confront this menace. Yet since the last round of designations against the TBA-based Hezbollah financial activities in 2006, very little has been done to address the threat. This needs to change.
The U.S. government also needs to revamp its sanctions. The U.S. Treasury sanctioned Hezbollah operatives in the tri-border area in 2004 and then again in 2006. A decade later, these measures have neither been enforced nor updated, and those targeted are able to travel, transact, and conduct business as if there were no sanctions.
There is also another problem the U.S. needs to address: In the tri-border area, Hezbollah has benefited from a permissive environment where corrupt local officials connive with Hezbollah for their own gain.
A $1.2 billion money laundering investigation by Paraguayan authorities last November, which a 2017 State Department report cites as evidence of corruption in Paraguay, offers proof of ongoing trade-based money laundering in the TBA and a related cover-up by local authorities. Local sources told this author that the investigated companies were given a 48-hour advance notice about the search warrants against them.
To date, no Latin American country has listed Hezbollah as a terror organization.
The global targeting of Hezbollah’s terror finance remains a top U.S. priority. Getting this right in Latin America remains to be seen.