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UPDATED: 13:33, March 04, 2006
Paraguay rejects U.S. accusation of police protecting drug trafficking
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The Paraguayan government demanded Friday that the United States prove its accusation that Paraguayan police were protecting drug traffickers.

Paraguayan Interior Minister Rogelio Benitez told reporters that it was very dangerous to accuse people without providing evidence, according to reports from Asuncion, capital of Paraguay.

The remarks were directed at Gregory Beloney, the local chief of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration working at the U.S. embassy in Asuncion, who was referred to by Benitez as the source of the allegations.

The U.S. Embassy in Paraguay said in its annual report, published Wednesday, that Paraguay suffered from police corruption and an inefficient justice system, both of which had a hand in helping drug trafficking.

Benitez responded that the only well founded accusation made by the U.S. embassy in Paraguay had been that against former narcotics division chief Aristides Cabral, who was currently in jail.

The U.S. report also detailed international cooperation in the world-wide fight against illegal drugs, and identified Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay as being trafficking routes and money laundering locations.

Source: Xinhua

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