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exploring the Chaco

We have written about Paraguay several times. We are always amazed how popular the Paraguay posts seem to be. It defies reason how many people come here just to read about Paraguay. Sort of spooky if you know what I mean.

We've written about Paraguay and the capital Asuncion, and the Tri-Border Area, and the strange things that happen there. Today we will look at Northern Paraguay.

Please note Filadelfia, just below the center. Filadelfia is reportedly where Nancy Pelosi and other celebrities go for R&R. See: east of Asuncion

This is the beginning of that story as told by Crad Kilodney in July 2009:

I was having lunch with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi at Opera Plaza Sushi in San Francisco about six months ago, and she said to me, “Every so often, I need to get away from it all.  I want to go where nobody knows me, where I can relax and have a change of scenery.  So I go to Filadelfia, Paraguay.  It’s a wonderful place!  You should go.”  So I did.
    Filadelfia is still very much off the beaten track.  Almost all Paraguay tourism is concentrated in the capital, Asuncion, and I certainly won’t knock it.  It’s a great place to buy luxury goods cheap (because they are smuggled in), and the hookers are hot.  But Asuncion is not the exotic Paraguay.  To see that, you have to go to Filadelfia.

To be clear, Paraguay is not a typical vacation destination. It is not like going to the Caribbean. This was written by Charles Brennick in 1997.

For the average tourist, Paraguay has little to offer. Asuncion, the capital, is hot and its buildings are in need of repair. Historical attractions, like its architecture and Jesuit artifacts, are destroyed or difficult to get to. Transportation over the bumpy roads is slow and unreliable. And if that's not enough, it's a landlocked country, hence, no beaches.. Paraguay's featureless landscape and lack of tourist attractions does not bring in the Western tourist, and those that come do not stay long. When friends and relatives came to visit me in Paraguay I usually ended up taking them to the neighboring Argentina or Brazil. Honestly, Paraguay is boring. Or, as the Paraguayans like to phrase it, tranquilo.
Perhaps the scarcity of tourists, even Paraguayans (the population is only 4.1 million) is what has allowed the country to preserve its greatest tourism asset, its wildlife. The semi-tropic eastern portion of the country has lush forests that abound with monkeys and birds. Ninety-eight percent of Paraguayans live in eastern Paraguay. As a result, its natural resources have been less preserved than other areas. Across the Paraguay River, in the western region, is the Chaco. The river completely separates two distinct habitats. The Chaco is a vast, virtually flat, and sparsely populated area with scrub and palm forests. The Chaco is one of the most pristine wildlife habitats left in South America. Its plant and animal biodiversity is comparable to the Amazon. The green desert has an indescribable appeal that lured me to the area numerous times while I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay and eventually motivated me to donate time to work with Paraguay's only Chaco ecotourism operator, Natur.
Paraguayan River (Wikimedia)

Therefore, according to Brennick's information, everything on the first map is part of the Chaco, including Filadelfia. He describes the Chaco in detail -- the tremendous wildlife, the heat, the solitude, the Mennonites.

I would like to see more ecotourism programs in this unique area and have them be managed in a way that preserves and enhances the Chaco's resources. Unfortunately, Natur and other Paraguayan tourism organizations have a long way to go before they achieve all of the benefits available through ecotourism. As stated, these companies need to work more closely with the native populations to ensure they receive more benefits from the programs. The Paraguayan government needs to create policies that encourages ecotourism. The government should establish preservation regulation that ensures the survival of the area's wildlife. Finally, tourism operators need to follow guidelines that reduce the impact on the resource they use. Ecotourism should be promoted in the Chaco as long as it is beneficial for the Chaco's people and wildlife.
Seems like a good plan. What could possibly go wrong with ecotourism?


You may also have heard that the Bushes have a big ranch in Northern Paraguay.

Click through for pictures.

You can read about this circa 2005 development here, and also at Rigorous Intuition:

About a year and a half ago (here and here), I referred to Sun Myung Moon's purchase of 600,000 hectares of Paraguay's Chaco for the stated intention of erecting an "ecological paradise." Moon's land sits atop the Guarani Aquifer, the Earth's largest resource of fresh drinking water, and also happens to be an "enormously strategic point in both the narcotics and arms trades," according to Paraguay's drug czar from 1976-89. "The available intelligence clearly shows that the Moon sect is involved in both these enterprises."

Those two links: (here and here) -- you might want to read those. Everything will make much more sense.
The last paragraph of the second link:
So what do we have? Two huge post-apocalyptic sanctuaries resting atop enormous aquifers [in Northern Paraguay]. Two billionaire globalists, one a New Age mystic [Maurice Strong] and the other a cultist who has insinuated himself into the leadership of the America's conservative evangelical movement [Sun Myung Moon], both patronized by the Rockefellers. UFOs and crop circles. Welcome to our world.
PLUS Bush. And the US military. And Nancy Pelosi on vacation. All in the Chaco. OK?!

From one of the supporting links we read about the "temporary" US military presence in Paraguay arranged back in July 2005. "The troops will help train Paraguayan officials to deal with narcotrafficking, terrorism, government corruption and domestic health issues."

This agreement grants U.S. soldiers complete legal immunity from some of their actions while they are in the country, affording them the same privileges as diplomats as well as leaving them free from prosecution for any damages inflicted on the public health, the environment or the country’s resources. According to Servicio Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ) Paraguay, the Paraguayan National Congress passed this resolution allowing for the entry of U.S. forces with no debate, behind closed doors and with the public largely unaware of the entire transaction. Joining with SERPAJ, other human rights groups also have voiced their concern, with U.S. military instructors being criticized by human rights activists for having a history of teaching torture tactics to thousands of Latin American mid-level military officers at the U.S.-based School of the Americas since shortly after World War II.
Other points made in the (excellent) article:

  • There have been previous suspicions of outside forces wanting to exercise military control over the natural resources of the Chaco region.
  • The Pentagon claims to have "no plans of any kind" for a permanent presence. Sure. See: Ecuador, the Philippines, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
  • Bolivia has two very large petroleum and natural gas reserves near the border.
  • Paraguay's decision to allow the US military in potentially destabilizes all the neighboring countries.
So all this has been going on in Northern Paraguay for at least several years.


Winners of the Miss Paraguay beauty pageant:

Liz Santacruz (Miss Paraguay 2005) and Vivian Benítez (Miss Paraguay 1991)
crowning the new Miss Paraguay, Viviana Mabel Benítez

"Beautiful Paraguayan Women" as photographed by an artist at Portal Guarani

Evidently, good old boring Paraguay has lots of beautiful women.


In April 2010 President Lugo declared a state of emergency in Northern Paraguay on account of the "terrorist" group, the EPP.

As part of Operation Py’a Guapy -- "tranquility" in the Guaraní indigenous language -- 3,300 Paraguayan army, navy and air force troops along with 300 national police officers have been sent to the northern provinces of Concepción, San Pedro, Amambay, Presidente Hayes and Alto Paraguay.

On Sunday, Apr. 25, President Fernando Lugo signed into law a bill declaring a state of emergency in the conflict zone, which encompasses five of the country’s 17 provinces.

According to government security agencies, these are the provinces where the EPP is active. Its roughly 100 members operate in remote, inaccessible forested areas, with the support of high technology equipment, where there is little or no police protection.

...Under the state of emergency, suspected EPP members can be arrested without warrants.

See: the point B list

We might wonder where these Paraguayan terrorists got their high tech equipment, and why it takes 3000+ armed government goons, also presumably with plenty of high tech equipment, to track down 100 people in a remote area. They couldn't track down Osama bin Laden for nine fucking years so we won't hold out hope. But for now let's just note that this is all happening in Northern Paraguay, in the Chaco.

July 2010: Land Reform: A clear and constant problem for Paraguay's president, by BB Sanford of Council of Hemispheric Affairs (think tank) makes the following points:

  • Northern Paraguay has some of the poorest provinces of Paraguay.
  • Eighty-four people were detained for not having documents, fraud and sexual abuse. Not one was linked to the EPP or any other insurgent group.
  • Land reform is a big issue in Paraguay because 80% of fertile land is controlled by 1% of the population.
  • Land reform is a primary goal for the EPP, the Paraguayan People's Army.
  • Lugo was elected as "bishop of the poor."
  • But now POOR LUGO is sick and there's so much corruption in Paraguay and with these terrorist acts and political enemies, he just can't do anything about land reform!

"Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I'm swamped." 
~ Prince Humperdink

There's more.

Until recently, some people maintained that there is no EPP and the mayhem was being caused by drug traffickers. 

"Two important events eliminated this line of thinking."

1. A man named Niño Salvador Saldívar surrendered to the police and claimed to be a member of the EPP on June 20, 2010.

2. And THEN the authorities discovered a camp with EPP documents.

Since then, "multiple kidnappings and killings have been attributed to the EPP."

According to the article:
  • "The EPP supports itself financially through kidnappings and ransoms."
  • Many affluent ranchers are afraid of the EPP.
  • The inadequate state presence encourages the EPP to commit violence.
  • The EPP may be linked to FARC of Colombia.
  • Wealthy landowners might be forming private militias in response.
We are reminded of South Africa, of state-sponsored violence that never gets investigated. Of social engineering.

It seems that in reality, the alleged EPP members who do the killing, who are most likely government-trained and sponsored thugs and drug traffickers, get away with murder; while the indigenous Paraguayan farmers and peasants, who we presume do not have high tech weapons, are treated as terrorists and get blamed and killed instead of the actual murderers.

"The corpse of Nimio Cardozo, one of the leaders of the Paraguayan People's Army (EPP), killed in a clash with police early morning in Hugua Nandu, 500 km north of Asuncion, arrives in the Paraguayan capital September 24, 2010." Getty Image

So how does that work? When a "terrorist" is "killed in a clash with police," how do the police manage to beat the shit out of the man and apply such precise gunshots to his torso?

You see, apparently Lugo is no lefty liberation theology priest. He's a fascist elite. And it seems he wants dead any people on the left, especially any uppity peasants, who formerly associated with and supported him while he was pretending to be the "bishop of the poor." And evidently, this is easy to arrange since there are plenty of sprawling elite fascist ranches in Northern Paraguay from which to host death squads.
This northern region is recognized as an area which normally moves with the rebel group, composed of known members of political parties of the Marxist left and peasant leaders, with broad popular base in the area, most of whom worked for the election campaign that brought to power the government now is determined to annihilate them.
This new extrajudicial execution adds to the Severiano Martinez and Gabriel Zárate.
Oligarchy and indifference:
As heroes of the social struggle were branded Paraguay People's Army members executed by senior government order archbishop of Fernando Lugo, of the relatives of the killed Nimio Cardozo.

Relatives and friends of the guerrilla harsh words referred to the government of the priest, and addressed to the Minister Rafael Filizzola cowardly and criminal.

The father of guerrilla extrajudicial execution, Christopher Cardozo, Vasquez was in the morgue because of Asunción was not allowed to see the corpse of his son and gave no explanations. 

The press could not come to the place where the remains veiled, where a crowd paid homage to its martyrs.

A cloak of doubt covers the actions of the oppressors, whereas three of the group are falling Marxist killed, as if uncomfortable for the government to capture alive a member of the EPP, former political allies who are in power.


Let's finish up with ecotourism. The Chaco might be an ecotourist destination. Is that what Nancy Pelosi does for relaxation when she goes to Filadelfia? Or what other reasonable explanation might we come up with?

We don't know. But next door in Brazil it seems that the FBI has been investigating some North Americans going down to the Amazon on ecotourism fishing trips, and taking on some young girls as sex slaves, and doing this every year.

From Copyright © 2010 by Sandy Frost. Used by permission.

Over two years ago I published "Child Sex Tourism: Brazilian Teens Testify About Being Lured into Minor Prostitution for American Tourists."
It imagined what it would be like to be a 13 year old Brazilian Indian girl, living with her poor family on their reservation. Then a North American named "Richard" shows up and asks for your help to sweep, do laundry and cook on his fishing boat.
You agree because your family needs the money for food.
When you get to the boat, you learn that your real job, along with other girls, is to drink whiskey and beer and have sex with the "North Americans" on a fishing trip. After they go back home, you are left pregnant, not knowing who the father is.
Three years later, in July of 2007, you find yourself with four of the same girls in the office of the Regional Superintendent of the Federal Police of the State of Amazonas with your mother, a federal police transcriber, an attorney hired to represent you and the Federal Police Chief, who is asking you to tell him what happened. The police take your deposition because they are investigating that minor Indian and other girls living near the rivers in the regions of Autazes became victims of sexual exploitation by North-American foreign tourists.
The girls testify that "Richard" went to the same village every year, luring girls to help him with housekeeping and cooking on his boat, the Amazon Santana.
See: not for nothing
See: the Bangkok of Latin America

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."

"If there is a nuclear war, the northern hemisphere will be a very nasty place to live. Or rather, not live. There are few targets in Africa or South America. Prevailing winds will block anything flowing to South America when it hits the giant Andes mountain system. In the shadows of that, life will be good for anyone who has money, power and control of the military. This is one reason why American spooks and the elites want total control of the governments down there."


    veritas6464 said…
    Hey Campo,...I read your work: You always kick my arse...

    So proud to count you among my colleagues.

    Your student...

    A. Peasant said…
    oh thanks V. ; D you know i'm a student too, just learning as i go, and these posts are my notes. so i'm happy if anyone else finds them useful, because the stuff that goes on is unbelievable.

    btw still laughing over the dwarf in a crash helmet remark...
    Anonymous said…
    There is something about Paraguay
    A. Peasant said…
    that's what i'm talking about.