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News > Latin America

Paraguay President's Uncle Gets Eight Years for Trafficking

  • Juan Domingo Viveros will carry out his sentence in Cereso at Itapua’s Social Rehabilitation Center.

    Juan Domingo Viveros will carry out his sentence in Cereso at Itapua’s Social Rehabilitation Center. | Photo: Policia Nacional de Paraguay

Published 11 April 2018

After Juan Domingo Viveros Cartes' arrest in 2016, President Horacio Cartes requested the court prosecute his uncle "relentlessly."

Juan Domingo Viveros Cartes, uncle of Paraguay's President Horacio Cartes, is beginning his eight-year sentence for drug trafficking.


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Viveros Cartes narrowly escaped the Public Ministry's desired 12-year prison sentence for his attempt to smuggle almost 600 kilograms of marijuana into the United States by private plane in September 2012.

Though he was not present during the transfer, Viveros allegedly coordinated the handoff and was to fly the shipment overseas before it was intercepted on a United Colonias' runway by the Special Anti-Drug Trafficking Unit near Encarnacion city. But this wasn't the pilot's first encounter with the law.

The 72-year-old was quite the renegade, by all accounts, spending years traveling under the radar as a fugitive. When he was finally arrested in 2016, President Cartes requested the court prosecute his uncle "relentlessly."

Viveros Cartes had worked as a 'narco-pilot' for years until he was first arrested and agreed to collaborate with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

However, he was arrested again in 2001 after failing to cooperate in a transaction which involved another trip with 250 kilos of cocaine in Sao Paulo.

He received 17 years from the Brazilian courts but was extradited in 2007 and allowed to serve his time under house arrest. This he later violated after escaping to his home in Paraguay.

In July 2013, Viveros Cartes flew over Uruguay, where he was forced by fighter pilots to land after violating their airspace. Though the plane was free of drugs, he was still brought to trial and later once again extradited to his native country.

After a long run with the law, Viveros will be carrying out his sentence in Cereso at Itapua's Social Rehabilitation Center.

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