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Terrorist Groups in Paraguay’s Southeast Region

U.S.-sanctioned terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and Hamas, are believed to recruit, plan attacks, and fundraise in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of South America, and within Paraguay specifically.

The TBA is considered by law enforcement to be a concentrated area of criminal and terrorist activity. Individuals affiliated with Hezbollah, Hamas, and al-Qaeda, have conducted fundraising activities and plotted attacks from the region, often with the assistance of cartels and organized crime groups. Paraguay’s second largest city, Ciudad del Este, is one of principal centers of illicit activity there. *

CEP calls on Paraguay to clarify the status of the following individuals affiliated with internationally sanctioned terrorist organizations, and if appropriate, arrest, expel, or otherwise cut off support to them:

CEP also calls on Paraguay to shut down the following internationally sanctioned terrorist entity:

Shopping Uniamérica (Galería Page):

Shopping Uniamérica (previously known as Galería Page) is a shopping center in Ciudad del Este that reportedly serves as a “regional command post” and “central headquarters” for Hezbollah in the TBA. It is managed and owned by Hezbollah members. The businesses there are operated by Hezbollah members and used to generate funds for the group. * The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated it a Specially Designated Terrorist Entity in December 2006. *

Paraguayan authorities reportedly deny the continued presence of Hezbollah in the country. * Paraguay needs to acknowledge Hezbollah’s presence and proactively apply its counterterrorism legislation to combat Hezbollah and other internationally sanctioned terrorist groups operating in the TBA.

Hezbollah

Hezbollah, a U.S.-designated and Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist group, has reportedly operated out of the TBA since the mid-1980s, from where it has operated sleeper cells, conducting fundraising activities, and plotted attacks. * Although Paraguayan authorities reportedly deny that Hezbollah has a presence in the country, several U.S.-designated Hezbollah members have held Paraguayan citizenship and are known to have operated out of Ciudad del Este. * The U.S.-designated Shopping Uniamérica shopping center (previously known as Galería Page) in Ciudad del Este reportedly serves as a regional command post for Hezbollah and source of fundraising for the group. *

Fact Sheet: Paraguay’s Support of Terror Financing

Paraguay and Terrorism in the Tri-Border Area Paraguay continues to allow representatives of Hezbollah and other internationally designated entities freedom of movement in the country.