"Ciudad del Este, Paraguay" Top 5 Page for this destination Ciudad del Este by acemj
Ciudad del Este Travel Guide: 41 reviews and 67 photos
So, I just read on comebackalive.com that Ciudad del Este is one of the most dangerous places on earth. I'm glad I read it AFTER I went. I feel like such a survivor . . .
Here's what that esteemed website has to say:
"This is a major base for drug traffickers smuggling Bolivian cocaine via hidden landing strips cut out of the jungle. More than US$12 billion moves through here a year. As the Brazilian drug lords have been pushed out of the shantytowns of Rio, they've found a convenient base in Ciudad del Este. In fact, this place has it all-murder, mayhem and even Islamic fundamentalist guerrillas, who are suspected of using the city to launch bombing attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in Argentina. There are about 200 murders a year in this city of 100,000, most of the executions identical in appearance with Brazilian gangland slayings. It costs US$500 to bribe a customs official in Ciudad del Este, and a bogus passport can be had for US$5,000. The city is also a channel for smuggled electronics goods and computers from Miami and stolen cars from Brazil. It's estimated that half the cars on Paraguay's roads were stolen in Brazil.
Ciudad del Este is a tax-free center and popular with Paraguayans for its bargains on consumer goods. The 400-yard bridge is usually packed with trucks and passenger cars stuffed with brand-new goods bought in Brazil. It is also a great place to pick up bogus U.S. dollars, antiaircraft guns, rare and endangered animals, weapons and drugs. The area is also called the "Triangle"-the frontier area between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay-a South American Barbary Coast rough-and-ready area with a Shiite Muslim community of about 6,000 people. Lebanese, Syrians and Iranians came here in the early 1980s and brought with them a New World cell of Hezbollah. Hezbollah trains local recruits in the jungles around the main city of Foz do Iguacu and gets its support from both the local merchants and Iran. To combat Ciudad del Este's emergence as the globe's hub of nastiness, the FBI is opening an office in Brasilia. But Ciudad del Este makes Waco look like a warehouse for Mormon pamphlets."
Now, if only I would have known all that. Ah, I still would have gone. Anything for a chance to haggle for a bargain from a street vendor.
The hydroelectric plant in Itaipu (just west of Foz do Iguacu on the border between Paraguay and Brazil) is the largest... more travel advice
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