The US vetoed the entry into the country of a Paraguayan official deputy accused of drug trafficking

File photo of members of the police guarding the pro-government deputy Ulises Quintana (c) after being detained, on September 21, 2018, in Asunción, Paraguay.  EFE / Andrés Cristaldo / Archive
File photo of members of the police guarding the pro-government deputy Ulises Quintana (c) after being detained, on September 21, 2018, in Asunción, Paraguay. EFE / Andrés Cristaldo / Archive

The State Department issued a statement in which it announced the sanction of Paraguayan deputy Ulises Quintana, of the Republican National Association-Concordia Colorada party., due to “their participation in important acts of corruption.”

According to the United States, during his time as representative, Quintana participated in acts that “facilitated transnational organized crime, undermined the rule of law, and obstructed the public’s faith in public processes in Paraguay.”

It also sanctioned Quintana’s wife, Mirtha Beatriz Esperanza Fariña Velausteguiz, which means that neither the deputy nor his wife will be able to enter the United StatesAs well as they will not be able to make use of the money they have in the North American country.

Quintana’s reaction was immediate, and it was his lawyer, Elías Fox, who maintained that the sanction “is part of a persecution,” since Quintana is a pre-candidate for mayor of Ciudad del Este, in the Alto Paraná department.

Reinaldo Javier Cabañas Santacruz, alias "Cucho"
Reinaldo Javier Cabañas Santacruz, alias “Cucho”

According to Fox, the US announcement is “premature” and the State Department “has rushed in its assessments”, reported ABC Color. On the contrary, from Washington they assured that this “designation reaffirms the commitment of the United States to fight corruption in Paraguay, the tri-border region and worldwide.”

The announcement of the sanction comes after Quintana’s links with the alleged drug trafficker were made public Reinaldo Cabaña Santacruz, alias ‘Cucho’. In fact, he was twice imprisoned for this alleged connection, although he regained his position in the Chamber of Deputies in November 2020.

The Triple Border, shared by Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and the center of operations for drug trafficking and money laundering groups, has one of its concomitant points in Ciudad del Este, main connection of the Paraguayan side with the Brazilian.

In that city, Quintana was arrested in 2018 in an anti-drug operation in which 31 people were arrested, including a fiscal agent and 8 policemen, in addition to Cabaña.

Head of the Friendship Bridge, which demarcates the natural border with Brazil.  EFE / Andrés Cristaldo / Archive
Head of the Friendship Bridge, which demarcates the natural border with Brazil. EFE / Andrés Cristaldo / Archive

Quintana was charged with drug trafficking as an accomplice by admitting that he spoke by phone with Cabañas when he asked him to intercede for a relative his who was stopped at a roadblock with $ 190,000 hidden in the vehicle he was traveling in.

The legislator acknowledged that Cabañas lent him several vehicles to use in his electoral campaign with a view to the general elections of April 2018, which he attended as a candidate for deputy from his political base in Ciudad del Este.

Quintana was held in a military prison on the outskirts of Asunción and he joined his seat after an appeals court revoked his pre-trial detention in November 2020.

The deputy, who then told the media that he was the victim of a political operation, belonged until his arrest to the current of coloradismo of the Paraguayan president, Mario Abdo Benítez, and after his freedom he joined the other sector, the one led by former president Horacio Cartes (2013-2018).

With information from Europa Press and EFE

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