Paraguay has seen escalating gunplay in recent months, in an apparent struggle by rival gangs for control of the underground cannabis trade. June 15 saw the commando-style assassination of a local businessman in the town of Pedro Juan Caballero, on the Brazilian border and a key transfer point for cannabis and other contraband. The “border businessman” Jorge Rafaat Toumani was killed in a road ambush by a team of at least 10 gunmen—armed not only with assualt rifles but also a heavy machine-gun. This was apparently needed to penetrate Rafaat Toumani’s personal armored vehicle. Another five were injured in the attack. Nine suspects have been apprehended. Authorities say they suspect First Capital Command (PCC), the Brazilian crime network which is said to control much of the cannabis trade in Paraguay.
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