On November 12, Argentinian lawyer Laura Casuso was reportedly gunned down by two men who intercepted her with a pickup truck in Pedro Juan Caballero, close to the Brazilian border. Casuso was the defender of Jarvis Chimenes Pavao, a convicted Brazilian drug lord and alleged member of the criminal organization Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC) and of Marcelo Fernando Pinheiro Veiga, better known as Marcelo Piloto, a convicted Brazilian murderer and alleged member of the criminal organization Comando Vermelho (CV). According to Paraguayan police, the killers are likely Brazilian, given that the type of vehicle used to assault Casuso resembles vehicles recently stolen in Brazil, near the border with Paraguay. On November 19 President Marito Abdo announced that Paraguay would extradite Marcelo Piloto immediately, after he killed a woman who visited him in prison on November 18. The criminal allegedly killed his victim to prevent authorities from deporting him to Brazil.
Laura Casuso’s killing was most likely executed by hitmen from a criminal organization, potentially either PCC or CV. While the exact motive behind the attack cannot be confirmed at this point, it is possible criminals were not satisfied with Casuso’s performance, perhaps in connection to plans to extradite Piloto. Furthermore, the killing could have been triggered by rivalry between both organizations. The PCC and CV, based in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro respectively, are among Brazil’s largest criminal organizations and control large shares of the Latin American drugs and arms trafficking market. In recent months, the PCC and CV have stepped up their presence and operations in Paraguay, where overall security is not as stringent as in Brazil. In this regard, owing to surging rivalry between criminal gangs, Pedro Juan Caballero is among the most violent cities in the region.