Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez dismissed his Interior Minister, Arnaldo Giuzzio, on Tuesday for alleged links to drug trafficker Marcus Vinivius Espindola Marques de Padua.
Impeachment Proposed to Minister of the Interior of Paraguay
“I have come to communicate that the President of the Republic has made the decision to change the Minister of the Interior. This decision is based on the deep conviction of safeguarding the legitimacy of the Ministry of the Interior”, said the head of the Civil Cabinet of the Presidency, Hernán Huttemann.
“The president has made the decision to appoint Ambassador Federico González as the new Minister of the Interior. The oath of ambassador Federico is scheduled for tomorrow, so that he can immediately assume such a delicate role”, he added.
Likewise, Minister Cecilia Pérez was appointed as adviser on security matters to the Presidency of the Republic to “advise and advise the president on this matter,” Huttemann said.
Prior to the dismissal announcement, the Paraguayan prosecutor, Federico Delfino, said he would investigate Giuzzio’s links with the drug trafficker.
“It is one of the new edges of research [que Giuzzio haya usado una camioneta de la empresa del narcotraficante Marcus Vinicius Espíndola Marques de Padua]. That’s why the team was formed from Friday [18 de febrero]. Of course Giuzzio will be investigated. This is relevant information for the investigation”, he explained to local media.
Marques de Padua is rated as one of the largest drug traffickers in Brazil. A week ago he was arrested in Foz de Iguazú (southwest of Brazil) during a multinational operation “Turf”.
The operation gained notoriety when some photos were leaked to the press that allegedly link the current former minister with the drug trafficker.
Marques de Padua sought to become a supplier of armor equipment and bulletproof vests for the Ministry of the Interior and the National Police.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the link between the former head of the Interior and the alleged drug trafficker would give conclusions about the work of the National Anti-Drug Secretariat in the operation that allowed another wanted person to escape, Lindomar Reges Furtado.
I spoke with Mr. Vinicius on more than one occasion, always about the services of his company and before becoming aware of his participation in a criminal organization.
– Arnaldo Giuzzio (@arnaldogiuzzio)
February 22, 2022
Giuzzio, for his part, confirmed on his Twitter account that Maques de Padua visited him last year to offer security equipment through his company Blac Eagle SA.
“Marcos Vinicius, arrested a few days ago in Operation Turf, visited us at the Specialized Group last year in his capacity as representative of the Black Eagle company, I received him accompanied by technical personnel to whom he exhibited tactical equipment offered by his company “, said.
Similarly, he pointed out that the Marques de Padua company offered an armor proposal, through references from other security forces. In turn, he rented vehicles from other Marques de Padua companies in December 2021, since his was damaged, as he pointed out.