Paraguay Population: 7,025,763

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 History
Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811. In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) - between Paraguay and Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay - Paraguay lost two-thirds of its adult males and much of its territory. The country stagnated economically for the next half century. Following the Chaco War of 1932-35 with Bolivia, Paraguay gained a large part of the Chaco lowland region. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER ended in 1989, and Paraguay has held relatively free and regular presidential elections since the country's return to democracy.

 Geography
    Landlocked; lies between Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil; population concentrated in eastern and southern part of country
Location: Central South America, northeast of Argentina, southwest of Brazil
Geographic coordinates: 23 00 S, 58 00 W
Area: total: 406,752 sq km
land: 397,302 sq km
water: 9,450 sq km

Size comparison: about three times the size of New York state; slightly smaller than California
Land Boundaries: total: 4,655 km border countries (3): Argentina 2531 km, Bolivia 753 km, Brazil 1371 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: subtropical to temperate; substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west
Terrain: grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere
Natural resources: hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone
Land use: agricultural land: 53.8% (2011 est.) arable land: 10.8% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0.2% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 42.8% (2011 est.) forest: 43.8% (2011 est.)
other: 2.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,362 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: local flooding in southeast (early September to June); poorly drained plains may become boggy (early October to June)
Current Environment Issues: deforestation; water pollution; rivers suffer from toxic dumping; tanneries release mercury and chromium into rivers and streams; loss of wetlands; inadequate means for waste disposal pose health risks for many urban residents
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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 People
Nationality: noun: Paraguayan(s)
adjective: Paraguayan
Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%, other 5%
Languages: Spanish (official) and Guarani (official) 46.3%, only Guarani 34%, only Spanish 15.2%, other (includes Portuguese, German, other indigenous languages) 4.1% , no response .4% (2012 est.) note: data represent predominant household language
Religions: Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 census)
Population: 7,025,763 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 24.13% (male 862,803 /female 832,325)
15-24 years: 18.8% (male 664,086 /female 656,947)
25-54 years: 41.59% (male 1,461,657 /female 1,460,565)
55-64 years: 8.13% (male 290,719 /female 280,328)
65 years and over: 7.35% (male 242,783 /female 273,550) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 56.6 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 47.2 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 9.4 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 10.6 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 28.7 years
male: 28.5 years
female: 28.9 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.17% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 16.6 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 4.8 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 61.6% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 1.71% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 3.222 million ASUNCION (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 22.9 years (2008 est.) note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate: 132 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 18.1 deaths/1,000 live births male: 21.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.6 years male: 74.9 years
female: 80.4 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.9 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 68.4% (2016)
Physicians density: 1.37 physicians/1,000 population (2018)
Hospital bed density: 1.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 94.9% of population
total: 98% of population

unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 5.1% of population
total: 2% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 95.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 78.4% of population (2015 est.)
total: 88.6% of population (2015 est.)

unimproved:
urban: 4.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 21.6% of population (2015 est.)
total: 11.4% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.5% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 20,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: <1000 (2016 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 20.3% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 1.3% (2016)
Education expenditures: 4.5% of GDP (2016)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 94.7%
male: 95.5%
female: 93.8% (2016 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 12 years male: 12 years female: 13 years (2010)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 14.5% male: 11.8% female: 18.7% (2018 est.)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay
conventional short form: Paraguay
local long form: Republica del Paraguay
local short form: Paraguay
etymology: the precise meaning of the name Paraguay is unclear, but it seems to derive from the river of the same name; one explanation has the name meaning "water of the Payagua" (an indigenous tribe that lived along the river)
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Asuncion
geographic coordinates: 25 16 S, 57 40 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends last Sunday in March
etymology: the name means "assumption" and derives from the original name given to the city at its founding in 1537, Nuestra Senora Santa Maria de la Asuncion (Our Lady Saint Mary of the Assumption)
Administrative divisions: 17 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital city*; Alto Paraguay, Alto Parana, Amambay, Asuncion*, Boqueron, Caaguazu, Caazapa, Canindeyu, Central, Concepcion, Cordillera, Guaira, Itapua, Misiones, Neembucu, Paraguari, Presidente Hayes, San Pedro
Independence: 14-15 May 1811 (from Spain); note - the uprising against Spanish authorities took place during the night of 14-15 May 1811 and both days are celebrated in Paraguay
National holiday: Independence Day, 14-15 May (1811) (observed 15 May); 14 May is celebrated as Flag Day
Constitution: history: several previous; latest approved and promulgated 20 June 1992 amendments: proposed at the initiative of at least one-quarter of either chamber of the National Congress, by the president of the republic, or by petition of at least 30,000 voters; passage requires absolute majority vote by both chambers and approval in a referendum; amended 2011, 2014; note - in April 2017, a proposed amendment to extend presidential term limits was defeated by the lower house of the National Congress (2018)
Legal system: civil law system with influences from Argentine, Spanish, Roman, and French civil law models; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Justice
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 75
Executive branch: chief of state: President Mario Abdo BENITEZ (since 15 August 2018); Vice President Hugo Adalberto VELAZQUEZ Moreno (since 15 August 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Mario Abdo BENITEZ (since 15 August 2018); Vice President Hugo Adalberto VELAZQUEZ Moreno (since 15 August 2018)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a single 5-year term; election last held on 22 April 2018 (next to be held in April 2023)

election results: Mario Abdo BENITEZ elected president; percent of vote - Mario Abdo BENITEZ (ANR) 46.4%, Efrain ALEGRE (PLRA) 42.7%, Juan Bautista YBANEZ 3.3%, other 7.6%
Legislative branch: description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of: Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms) Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members directly elected in 18 multi-seat constituencies - corresponding to the country's 17 departments and capital city - by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: Chamber of Senators - last held on 22 April 2018 (next to be held in April 2023) Chamber of Deputies - last held on 22 April 2018 (next to be held in April 2023)

election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party/coalition - ANR 32.52%, PLRA 24.18%, FG 11.83%, PPQ 6.77%, MH 4.47%, PDP 3.66%, MCN 2.48%, UNACE 2.12%, other 11.97%; seats by party/coalition - ANR 17, PLRA 13, FG 6, PPQ 3, MH 2, PDP 2, MCN 1, UNACE 1; composition - men 36, women 9, percent of women 20% Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party/coalition - ANR 39.1%, PLRA 17.74%, Ganar Alliance 12.08%, PPQ 4.46%, MH 3.19%; other 23.43%; seats by party/coalition - ANR 42, PLRA 17, Ganar Alliance 13, PPQ 3, MH 2, other 3; composition - men 66, women 14, percent of women 17.5%; note - total National Congress percent of women 18.4%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 9 justices divided 3 each into the Constitutional Court, Civil and Commercial Chamber, and Criminal Division) judge selection and term of office: justices proposed by the Council of Magistrates or Consejo de la Magistratura, a 6-member independent body, and appointed by the Chamber of Senators with presidential concurrence; judges can serve until mandatory retirement at age 75

subordinate courts: appellate courts; first instance courts; minor courts, including justices of the peace
Political parties and leaders: Asociacion Nacional Republicana - Colorado Party or ANR [Pedro ALLIANA] Avanza Pais coalition or AP [Adolfo FERREIRO] Broad Front coalition (Frente Guasu) or FG [Esperanza MARTINEZ] Ganar Alliance (alliance between PLRA and Guasu Front) Movimiento Cruzada Nacional or MCN Movimiento Hagamos or MH [Antonio "Tony" APURIL] Movimiento Union Nacional de Ciudadanos Eticos or UNACE [Jorge OVIEDO MATTO] Partido del Movimiento al Socialismo or P-MAS [Camilo Ernesto SOARES Machado] Partido Democratica Progresista or PDP [Rafael FILIZZOLA] Partido Encuentro Nacional or PEN [Hermann RATZLAFFIN Klippemstein] Partido Liberal Radical Autentico or PLRA [Efrain ALEGRE] Partido Pais Solidario or PPS [Carlos Alberto FILIZZOLA Pallares] Partido Popular Tekojoja or PPT [Sixto PEREIRA Galeano] Patria Querida (Beloved Fatherland Party) or PPQ [Miguel CARRIZOSA]
International organization participation: CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): lion;
national colors: red, white, blue
National anthem: name: "Paraguayos, Republica o muerte!" (Paraguayans, The Republic or Death!)
lyrics/music: Francisco Esteban ACUNA de Figueroa/disputed

note: adopted 1934, in use since 1846; officially adopted following its re-arrangement in 1934
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Manuel Maria CACERES (since 11 January 2019)
chancery: 2400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-6960 through 6962
FAX: [1] (202) 234-4508
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Miami, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Lee MCCLENNY (since 20 February 2018)
embassy: 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Casilla Postal 402, Asuncion
mailing address: Unit 4711, DPO AA 34036-0001
telephone: [595] (21) 213-715
FAX: [595] (21) 213-728
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 Economy
Landlocked Paraguay has a market economy distinguished by a large informal sector, featuring re-export of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries, as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. A large percentage of the population, especially in rural areas, derives its living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain. On a per capita basis, real income has grown steadily over the past five years as strong world demand for commodities, combined with high prices and favorable weather, supported Paraguay's commodity-based export expansion. Paraguay is the fifth largest soy producer in the world. Drought hit in 2008, reducing agricultural exports and slowing the economy even before the onset of the global recession. The economy fell 3.8% in 2009, as lower world demand and commodity prices caused exports to contract. Severe drought and outbreaks of hoof-and-mouth disease in 2012 led to a brief drop in beef and other agricultural exports. Since 2014, however, Paraguay’s economy has grown at a 4% average annual rate due to strong production and high global prices, at a time when other countries in the region have contracted. The Paraguayan Government recognizes the need to diversify its economy and has taken steps in recent years to do so. In addition to looking for new commodity markets in the Middle East and Europe, Paraguayan officials have promoted the country’s low labor costs, cheap energy from its massive Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam, and single-digit tax rate on foreign firms. As a result, the number of factories operating in the country – mostly transplants from Brazil - has tripled since 2014. Corruption, limited progress on structural reform, and deficient infrastructure are the main obstacles to long-term growth. Judicial corruption is endemic and is seen as the greatest barrier to attracting more foreign investment. Paraguay has been adverse to public debt throughout its history, but has recently sought to finance infrastructure improvements to attract foreign investment.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $88.91 billion (2017 est.) $84.87 billion (2016 est.) $81.36 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $38.94 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.8% (2017 est.) 4.3% (2016 est.) 3.1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $12,800 (2017 est.) $12,400 (2016 est.) $12,000 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 18.6% of GDP (2017 est.) 20.9% of GDP (2016 est.) 20% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 66.7% (2017 est.) government consumption: 11.3% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 17.3% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0.3% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 46.6% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -42.2% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 17.9% (2017 est.) industry: 27.7% (2017 est.) services: 54.5% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, eggs, milk; timber
Industries: sugar processing, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, base metals, electric power
Industrial production growth rate: 2% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 3.428 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 26.5%
industry: 18.5%
services: 55% (2008)
Unemployment rate: 5.7% (2017 est.) 6% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line: 22.2% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.5%
highest 10%: 37.6% (2013 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 51.7 (2014) 53.2 (2009)
Budget: revenues: 5.524 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 5.968 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 14.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 19.5% of GDP (2017 est.) 18.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.6% (2017 est.) 4.1% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$298 million (2017 est.) $416 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $11.73 billion (2017 est.) $10.86 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: soybeans, livestock feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, wood, leather, gold
Exports - partners: Brazil 31.9%, Argentina 15.9%, Chile 6.9%, Russia 5.9% (2017)
Imports: $11.35 billion (2017 est.) $9.617 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery, tractors, chemicals, vehicle parts
Imports - partners: China 31.3%, Brazil 23.4%, Argentina 12.9%, US 7.4% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $7.877 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $6.881 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $17.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $16.48 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $6.235 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $5.276 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $705.1 million (31 December 2017 est.) $591.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $962.3 million (31 December 2012 est.) $958.1 million (31 December 2011 est.) $42 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Exchange rates: guarani (PYG) per US dollar - 5,628.1 (2017 est.) 5,680.7 (2016 est.) 5,680.7 (2015 est.) 5,160.4 (2014 est.) 4,462.2 (2013 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 63.13 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 10.9 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 41.13 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 8.87 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 99% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 43,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 40,760 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 7.74 million Mt (2017 est.)
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 Communications
Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 7,468,275
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 108 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: the fixed-line market is a state monopoly and fixed-line telephone service is meager; principal switching center is in Asuncion; DSL, cable modem, FttP (fiber to the home) and WiMAX technologies available; competition in mobile market among 4 operators; 18 mobile phones for every fixed-line service phone (2018)

domestic: deficiencies in provision of fixed-line service have resulted in a rapid expansion of mobile-cellular services fostered by competition among multiple providers; Internet market also open to competition; fixed-line 4 per 100 and mobile-cellular 108 per 100 (2018)

international: country code - 595; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); Paraguay's landlocked position means they must depend on neighbors for interconnection with submarine cable networks, making it cost more for broadband services
Broadcast media: 6 privately owned TV stations; about 75 commercial and community radio stations; 1 state-owned radio network (2019)
Internet country code: .py
Internet users: total: 3,524,045
percent of population: 51.3% (July 2016 est.)
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 Transportation
Airports: 799 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 15
(2017) over 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 784
(2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 23 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 290 (2013)
under 914 m: 471 (2013)
Railways: total 30 km
(2014) standard gauge: 30 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total 74,676 km
(2017) paved: 6,167 km (2017)
unpaved: 68,509 km (2017)
Waterways: 3,100 km (primarily on the Paraguay and Paraná River systems) (2012)
Merchant marine: total 80

by type: container ship 3, general cargo 23, oil tanker 6, other 48 (2018) note: as of 2017, Paraguay registered 2,012 fluvial vessels of which 1,741 were commercial barges
Ports and terminals:
river port(s): Asuncion, Villeta, San Antonio, Encarnacion (Parana)
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 Military
Military branches: Armed Forces Command (Commando de las Fuerzas Militares): Army, National Navy (Armada Nacional, includes Marine Corps, Naval Aviation, and Coast Guard), Paraguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Paraguay, FAP), Logistics Command, War Materiel Directorate (2012)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy; volunteers for the Air Force must be younger than 22 years of age with a secondary school diploma (2012)
Military expenditures: 1.25% of GDP (2016) 1.42% of GDP (2015) 1.29% of GDP (2014) 1.28% of GDP (2013) 1.3% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: unruly region at convergence of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is locus of money laundering, smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics trafficking, and fundraising for violent extremist organizations
Illicit drugs: major illicit producer of cannabis, most or all of which is consumed in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile; transshipment country for Andean cocaine headed for Brazil, other Southern Cone markets, and Europe; weak border controls, extensive corruption and money-laundering activity, especially in the Tri-Border Area; weak anti-money-laundering laws and enforcement
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