U.S. military presence in Paraguay
U.S. secret military operations
"Controversy is raging in Paraguay, where the U.S. military is conducting secretive operations. 500 U.S. troops arrived in the country on July 1st with planes, weapons and ammunition," Toward Freedom's Benjamin Dangl wrote September 15, 2005. "Eyewitness reports prove that an airbase exists in Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay, which is 200 kilometers from the border with Bolivia and may be utilized by the U.S. military. Officials in Paraguay claim the military operations are routine humanitarian efforts and deny that any plans are underway for a U.S. base. Yet human rights groups in the area are deeply worried. White House officials are using rhetoric about terrorist threats in the tri-border region (where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina meet) in order to build their case for military operations, in many ways reminiscent to the build up to the invasion of Iraq."
"Located where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet, the area is home to roughly 20,000 Middle Eastern immigrants—mostly from Lebanon and Syria—and has long been a hotbed for terrorist fundraising, arms and drug trafficking, counterfeiting and money laundering. By moving freely through the region’s porous borders, operatives from the terrorist organizations Hizbollah, Hamas, and according to some reports, al-Qaeda, are able to conduct arms-for-drugs deals with secular Latin American terrorist groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Peru’s Sendero Luminosos (Shining Path). All told, U.S. officials believe that between $10 and $12 billion is funneled through the tri-border region each year, with Hizbollah among the prime beneficiaries," Erick Stakelbeck wrote March 19, 2004, in FrontPageMagazine.com.
"The tri-border area is home to the Guarani Aquifer, one of the world’s largest reserves of water. Near the Estigarribia airbase are Bolivia’s natural gas reserves, the second largest in Latin America. Political analysts believe U.S. operations in Paraguay are part of a preventative war to control these natural resources and suppress social uprisings in Bolivia," Dangl wrote.
Mariscal Estigarribia airbase
"The Estigarribia airbase was constructed in the 1980s for U.S. technicians hired by the Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner, and is capable of housing 16,000 troops," Dangl wrote. "A journalist writing for the Argentine newspaper Clarin, recently visited the base and reported it to be in perfect condition, capable of handling large military planes. It’s oversized for the Paraguayan air force, which only has a handful of small aircraft. The base has an enormous radar system, huge hangars and an air traffic control tower. The airstrip itself is larger than the one at the international airport in Asuncion, the Paraguayan capital. Near the base is a military camp which has recently grown in size."
"On May 26, 2005 the Paraguayan Senate granted the U.S. troops total immunity from national and International Criminal Court jurisdiction until December 2006. The legislation is automatically extendable. Since December 2004, the U.S. has been pressuring Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Paraguay into signing a deal which would grant immunity to U.S. military. The Bush administration threatened to deny the countries up to $24.5 million in economic and military aid if they refused to sign the immunity deal." Dangl wrote.
Related SourceWatch resources
- Bush doctrine
- global insurgency for change
- global struggle against violent extremism
- Guaraní Aquifer
- Imperial terror in South America
- Joint Vision 2010
- Joint Vision 2020
- National Endowment for Democracy
- Operation Condor
- Pax Americana, Africa
- preemptive war
- School of the Americas
- Sovereignty over natural resources
- U.S. military bases overseas
- war on terrorism
- World Movement for Democracy
- Laura Carlsen, "Latin America's Archives of Terror," Americas Program, October 20, 2003.
- Chalmers Johnson, "America's Empire of Bases," TomDispatch (Global Policy), January 2004.
- John Lindsay-Poland, "US Military Bases in Latin America and the Caribbean," Foreign Policy In Focus (Global Policy), August 2004.
- Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff, "Secret Proposals: Fighting Terror by Attacking ... South America?" Newsweek (Global Policy), August 9, 2004.
- Jim Lobe, "US Militarizing Latin America," One World (Global Policy), October 6, 2004.
- Pablo Bachelet, "4 nations that won't sign deal with U.S. risk aid loss," Miami Herald (Latin American Studies), December 18, 2004: "Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Paraguay could forgo millions in U.S. aid if they refuse to sign an agreement granting U.S. citizens immunity from International Criminal Court."
- "National Sovereignty?" Inter Press Service (Global Policy), December 23, 2004.
- Peter Baker and Michael A. Fletcher, "Bush Pledges to Spread Freedom," Washington Post, January 21, 2005. Bush's Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 2005.
- Raúl Zibechi, "South America’s New Militarism," Foreign Policy In Focus, July 15, 2005.
- Dr. Luis Maria Argana International Airport, World Aero Data, information effective September 1-28, 2005. The airport is located near Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay.
Documents & reports
- Paraguay, U.S. Department of State Post Reports, last updated June 30, 2000.
- "Terrorist and Organized Crime Groups in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of South America," Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, July 2003. Table of Contents is on page 3; Executive Summary begins on page 5.
- "Base Structure Report. A Summary of DoD's Real Property Inventory. Fiscal Year 2004 Baseline," U.S. Department of Defense. 186-page pdf.
- "Foreign Military Training: Joint Report to Congress, Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005," Released by the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State, April 2005. Scroll down to Paraguay, which concludes with "As of the publication date of this report, Paraguay, a State Party to the Rome Statute, is prohibited by § 2007 of the American Servicemembers' Protection Act of 2002 (22 U.S.C. 7421 et seq.) from receiving military assistance."
Articles & commentary
- Jeffrey Goldberg, "In the Party of God. Hezbollah sets up operations in South America and the United States," The New Yorker, October 28, 2002: "The Triple Frontier has earned its reputation as one of the most lawless places in the world. Now, it is believed, the Frontier is also the center of Middle Eastern terrorism in South America." Also see: Alexander Cockburn, "Hacks and Heroes: Meet the New Yorker's Goldberg," CounterPunch, February 28, 2005.
- Rubens Barbosa and Jessica Stern, "Triborder Dispute," Foreign Affairs, January/February 2004.
- Erick Stakelbeck, "Terror's South American Front," FrontPageMagazine.com, March 14, 2004.
- David Meir-Levi, "Connecting the South American Terror Dots," FrontPageMagazine.com, August 9, 2004.
- Thom Shanker, "Rumsfeld Urges a Latin Push Against Terror," New York Times (Global Policy), November 17, 2004.
- Joe Pappalardo, "South America Hotspot Garners U.S. Attention," National Defense Magazine, June 2005.
- Bill Weinberg, "US troops to Paraguay," World War 4 Report, June 7, 2005.
- Tom Barry, "Southcom Generals Fret Over New Domino Effect," Inter Press Service (Global Policy), June 18, 2005.
- "Paraguay Denies Rumors of US Military Base," Prensa Latina, July 8, 2005.
- "Bolivia Worries About New U.S. Base In Paraguay. Congressman Cardozo to head a delegation to go to the border zone," El Deber (Information Clearing House'), July 11, 2005.
- Carlos M. Pietri, "When US troops enter a Latin American country, it is not for solidarity!" VHeadline, July 12, 2005.
- Stephen Peacock, "Bolivia To Get Riot Gear, Emergency Ops Center From U.S. -- More Trouble on the Horizon?" The Narcosphere, July 16, 2005.
- Memorandum to the Press: "Washington Secures Long-Sought Hemispheric Outpost, Perhaps at the Expense of Regional Sovereignty," Council On Hemispheric Affairs, July 20, 2005.
- Mary Donohue and Melissa Nepomiachi, "Washington Secures Long-Sought Hemispheric Outpost," Political Affairs Magazine, July 21, 2005.
- Benjamin Dangl, "What is the U.S. Military Doing in Paraguay?" Upside Down World (Information Clearing House), August 1, 2005.
- Bill Weinberg, "New US military contingent arrives," World War 4 Report, August 1, 2005.
- Alejandro Sciscioli, "U.S. Military Presence in Paraguay Stirs Speculation," Inter Press Service (OneWorld.net), August 4, 2005.
- James Dunnigan, "Media Reports That 16,000 U.S. Troop Invade Paraguay," Strategy Page, August 7, 2005.
- Marcela Valente, "Presence of US Troops Upsets Paraguay's Partners," Inter Press Service (Global Policy), August 8, 2005.
- Wayne Madsen, "US Base in Paraguay Protects Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Land," Environmentalists Against War, August 12, 2005.
- Chris Kraul and Alex Renderos, "Central America’s Crime Wave Spurs Plan for a Regional Force," Los Angeles Times (Global Policy), August 16, 2005.
- Thomas Muirhead, "Terrorism's Triple-Border Sanctuary: Islamist World Terror from Argentina, Brazil & Paraguay," Global Politician (WorldThreats.com), August 17, 2005. Click on article link.
- Josh White, "Rumsfeld, in Latin America, Voices Democracy Concerns. Bolivia Is Focus of Appeals for Regional Help," Washington Post, August 17, 2005.
- Donna Mills, "Rumsfeld Wraps Up Paraguayan Visit," American Forces Press Service, August 17, 2005.
- Benjamin Dangl, "US military presence stirs speculation," Latinamerica Press, August 18, 2005.
- Benjamin Dangl, "Paraguay in the cross hairs: Signs point to U.S. military base." Special to the Vermont Guardian, August 19, 2005.
- Bob Chapman, "All US military leave has been cancelled ... something big is in the works!" VHeadline (Venezuela), August 22, 2005.
- "An alleged plan to build a US military base in Paraguay sparks controversy," Pravda (Russia), August 23, 2005: "The South American country denied having discussed the issue during US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Asuncion last week."
- Bill Weinberg, "Paraguayans Protest Rumsfeld," World War 4 Report, August 23, 2005.
- Juana Carrasco Martin, "The hidden agenda of Rumsfeld’s tour," Granma International (Cuba), August 25, 2005.
- "Paraguay, the Pentagon's new beachhead," Progreso Weekly, August 25, 2005.
- "Duarte: There will be no U.S. military base in Paraguay," Mexico.com, August 30, 2005: "Visiting Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte said here Tuesday that 'there will be no (U.S.) military base' in his country. ... 'In Paraguay, there will be no U.S. military base or any facility of that kind whatsoever because we're a sovereign country, we're part of Mercosur (Southern Cone trade bloc) and we want, above all, the stability of democracy,' he emphasized."
- "Chileans Demand Duarte Cancel Dangerous US Military Agreements," Prensa Latina (Cuba), August 30, 2005.
- Jim Shultz, "Bush Brings the False Intelligence Game to South America," Upside Down World, September 6, 2005.
- "Concern in Argentina at US Troops in Paraguay," Prensa Latina (The Europe News Net), September 13, 2005.
- Benjamin Dangl, "U.S. Military in Paraguay Prepares to 'Spread Democracy'," Toward Freedom, September 15, 2005.
- "Bush Buys Land in Northern Paraguay," Prensa Latina (Cuba), October 13, 2006.
- "We Hate To Bring Up the Nazis, But They Fled To South America, Too," Wonkette!, October 18, 2006: "Here’s a fun question for Tony Snow: Why might the president and his family need a 98.840-acre ranch in Paraguay protected by a semi-secret U.S. military base manned by American troops who have been exempted from war-crimes prosecution by the Paraguyan government?"
- Stephen Lendman, "The Shame of the Nation: A Collective Perversion," OpEdNews, October 23, 2006.
- Tom Phillips, "Paraguay in a spin about Bush's alleged 100,000 acre hideaway," Guardian Unlimited (UK), October 23, 2006.