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Karp, Aaron. 2009 ‘Country Summaries - Paraguay.’ Surplus Arms in South America: A Survey; Working Paper 7, p. 48. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 1 August

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Country Summaries - Paraguay

Law enforcement: The national police have a total of 7,000 rifles, mostly M16s and Chinese AK rifles. Special police forces have MP-5 sub-machine guns and FAL machine guns. Other agencies have an equal number of small arms. According to the police commissioner, though, police inventories are too small to arm half the active force.

Civilian firearms: The Dirección de Material Bélico (DIMABEL or Ministry of Defence Directorate for War Materials) controls civilian arms. In 2007, it counted 333,460 civilian registered firearms, the most common type being .38 revolvers from Brazil.

There is a consensus that illegal arms significantly outnumber those registered. If unregistered weapons are double the number known to authorities, there would be some 650,000 illegal guns in Paraguayan hands.

Smuggling fuels the problem. Reports suggest that only about 30 per cent of gun imports are declared. As a result, in 1996 the United States stopped weapons sales to Paraguay. In 2001 Brazil started an export tax of 150 per cent on arms and ammunition to discourage the trade.

ID: Q5310

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