Red Letter Day for "Triple Frontier" movie writers: Ciudad del Este lives up to its reputation.

With wide-eyed amazement, people ask me "are you okay?" when they hear that I'm living in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. They've heard and read descriptions that make it sound like Mos Eisley. My answer is usually a shrug and a comment about how all the restaurants are closed by 2pm and there isn't a single movie theatre in the city that supposedly brings in about 40% of Paraguay's GDP (read: not terribly exciting... also, how am I supposed to watch District 9???).

But today was a perfect maelstrom of the malevolent in Ciudad del Este, almost as if orchestrated for an action/adventure movie:

1) Lebanese merchant ("comerciante") Ali Zaioun (Zaium?) narrowly avoided being assassinated in a clear hit job as he and his lawyer left the Palacio de Justicia this morning. As he approached his BMW, two men with helmets on a motor cycle approached and opened fire. Fortunately, Zaioun's guard pulled his gun and was joined by some cops. Zaioun was untouched. His car riddled with bullets. The assailant who died during the battle was also a police officer--badge and handcuffs in a pocket. The one who lived is wounded, in the hospital, and still to be questioned...

2) Meanwhile, today a Paraguayan immigration officer was arrested for issuing a false passport and national id card to a Colombian woman. Colombian lady was supposed to fly into Spain on her fake Paraguayan passport. She, the immigration officer, and two Paraguayan women have been detained. We'll see what happens.

3) Two drug mules arrested in Brazil yesterday with 137 kilos of marijuana explained today that they acquired their cargo in the middle of Ciudad del Este and were headed to the capital of Paran√° state, Curitiba. Wholesale value on the street? Some $300,000.

4) The son of a Brazilian couple (all living in Paraguay) is still missing after being kidnapped Friday by cops (or perhaps a couple of men pretending to be cops).

Really? Does it have to be like this? This is also the only city in Paraguay where I know you can get bubble tea and the Korean food is excellent.

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One Response to Red Letter Day for "Triple Frontier" movie writers: Ciudad del Este lives up to its reputation.

Julie said...

~sigh~. . . not comforting at all.


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