Photos of Paraguay

Introduction

Background

Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811. In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) - between Paraguay and Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay - Paraguay lost two-thirds of its adult males and much of its territory. The country stagnated economically for the next half century. Following the Chaco War of 1932-35 with Bolivia, Paraguay gained a large part of the Chaco lowland region. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER ended in 1989, and Paraguay has held relatively free and regular presidential elections since the country's return to democracy.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Central South America, northeast of Argentina, southwest of Brazil

Geographic coordinates

23 00 S, 58 00 W

Map references

South America

Area

total: 406,752 sq km

land: 397,302 sq km

water: 9,450 sq km

country comparison to the world: 61

Area - comparative

about three times the size of New York state; slightly smaller than California

Land boundaries

total: 4,655 km

border countries (3): Argentina 2531 km, Bolivia 753 km, Brazil 1371 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

subtropical to temperate; substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west

Terrain

grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere

Elevation

mean elevation: 178 m

lowest point: junction of Rio Paraguay and Rio Parana 46 m

highest point: Cerro Pero 842 m

Natural resources

hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone

Land use

agricultural land: 53.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 10.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 42.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 43.8% (2018 est.)

other: 2.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

1,362 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

most of the population resides in the eastern half of the country; to the west lies the Gran Chaco (a semi-arid lowland plain), which accounts for 60% of the land territory, but only 2% of the overall population

Natural hazards

local flooding in southeast (early September to June); poorly drained plains may become boggy (early October to June)

Geography - note

landlocked; lies between Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil; population concentrated in eastern and southern part of country

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Paraguayan(s)

adjective: Paraguayan

Ethnic groups

Mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%, other 5%

Languages

Spanish (official) and Guarani (official) 46.3%, only Guarani 34%, only Spanish 15.2%, other (includes Portuguese, German, other indigenous languages) 4.1% , no response .4% (2012 est.)

note: data represent predominant household language

Religions

Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 census)

Demographic profile

Paraguay falls below the Latin American average in several socioeconomic categories, including immunization rates, potable water, sanitation, and secondary school enrollment, and has greater rates of income inequality and child and maternal mortality. Paraguay's poverty rate has declined in recent years but remains high, especially in rural areas, with more than a third of the population below the poverty line. However, the well-being of the poor in many regions has improved in terms of housing quality and access to clean water, telephone service, and electricity. The fertility rate continues to drop, declining sharply from an average 4.3 births per woman in the late 1990s to about 2 in 2013, as a result of the greater educational attainment of women, increased use of contraception, and a desire for smaller families among young women.

Paraguay is a country of emigration; it has not attracted large numbers of immigrants because of political instability, civil wars, years of dictatorship, and the greater appeal of neighboring countries. Paraguay first tried to encourage immigration in 1870 in order to rebound from the heavy death toll it suffered during the War of the Triple Alliance, but it received few European and Middle Eastern immigrants. In the 20th century, limited numbers of immigrants arrived from Lebanon, Japan, South Korea, and China, as well as Mennonites from Canada, Russia, and Mexico. Large flows of Brazilian immigrants have been arriving since the 1960s, mainly to work in agriculture. Paraguayans continue to emigrate to Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, the United States, Italy, Spain, and France.

Age structure

0-14 years: 23.41% (male 857,303/female 826,470)

15-24 years: 17.71% (male 640,400/female 633,525)

25-54 years: 42.63% (male 1,532,692/female 1,532,851)

55-64 years: 8.37% (male 306,100/female 295,890)

65 years and over: 7.88% (male 267,351/female 299,103) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 55.5

youth dependency ratio: 49.9

elderly dependency ratio: 10.6

potential support ratio: 9.4 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 29.7 years

male: 29.5 years

female: 29.9 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 128

Birth rate

16.43 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 102

Death rate

4.84 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 201

Net migration rate

-0.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 97

Population distribution

most of the population resides in the eastern half of the country; to the west lies the Gran Chaco (a semi-arid lowland plain), which accounts for 60% of the land territory, but only 2% of the overall population

Urbanization

urban population: 62.2% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 1.71% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

3.394 million ASUNCION (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

22.9 years (2008 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality rate

84 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 77

Infant mortality rate

total: 23.83 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 28.23 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 19.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 73

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.13 years

male: 75.46 years

female: 80.93 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 74

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

1.35 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

0.8 beds/1,000 population (2016)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 98.4% of population

rural: 84.8% of population

total: 93.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.6% of population

rural: 15.2% of population

total: 6.8% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

<1000 (2019 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 94%

male: 94.5%

female: 93.5% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 13 years (2010)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 14.5%

male: 11.8%

female: 18.7% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 95

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay

conventional short form: Paraguay

local long form: Republica del Paraguay

local short form: Paraguay

etymology: the precise meaning of the name Paraguay is unclear, but it seems to derive from the river of the same name; one explanation has the name meaning "water of the Payagua" (an indigenous tribe that lived along the river)

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Asuncion

geographic coordinates: 25 16 S, 57 40 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends last Sunday in March

etymology: the name means "assumption" and derives from the original name given to the city at its founding in 1537, Nuestra Senora Santa Maria de la Asuncion (Our Lady Saint Mary of the Assumption)

Administrative divisions

17 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital city*; Alto Paraguay, Alto Parana, Amambay, Asuncion*, Boqueron, Caaguazu, Caazapa, Canindeyu, Central, Concepcion, Cordillera, Guaira, Itapua, Misiones, Neembucu, Paraguari, Presidente Hayes, San Pedro

Independence

14-15 May 1811 (from Spain); note - the uprising against Spanish authorities took place during the night of 14-15 May 1811 and both days are celebrated in Paraguay

National holiday

Independence Day, 14-15 May (1811) (observed 15 May); 14 May is celebrated as Flag Day

Constitution

history: several previous; latest approved and promulgated 20 June 1992

amendments: proposed at the initiative of at least one quarter of either chamber of the National Congress, by the president of the republic, or by petition of at least 30,000 voters; passage requires absolute majority vote by both chambers and approval in a referendum; amended 2011

Legal system

civil law system with influences from Argentine, Spanish, Roman, and French civil law models; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Justice

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a native-born citizen of Paraguay

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 75

Executive branch

chief of state: President Mario Abdo BENITEZ (since 15 August 2018); Vice President Hugo Adalberto VELAZQUEZ Moreno (since 15 August 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Mario Abdo BENITEZ (since 15 August 2018); Vice President Hugo Adalberto VELAZQUEZ Moreno (since 15 August 2018)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a single 5-year term; election last held on 22 April 2018 (next to be held in April 2023)

election results: Mario Abdo BENITEZ elected president; percent of vote - Mario Abdo BENITEZ (ANR) 46.4%, Efrain ALEGRE (PLRA) 42.7%, Juan Bautista YBANEZ 3.3%, other 7.6%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of:
Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members directly elected in 18 multi-seat constituencies - corresponding to the country's 17 departments and capital city - by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections:
Chamber of Senators - last held on 22 April 2018 (next to be held in April 2023)
Chamber of Deputies - last held on 22 April 2018 (next to be held in April 2023)

election results:
Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party/coalition - ANR 32.52%, PLRA 24.18%, FG 11.83%, PPQ 6.77%, MH 4.47%, PDP 3.66%, MCN 2.48%, UNACE 2.12%, other 11.97%; seats by party/coalition - ANR 17, PLRA 13, FG 6, PPQ 3, MH 2, PDP 2, MCN 1, UNACE 1; composition - men 36, women 9, percent of women 20%
Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party/coalition - ANR 39.1%, PLRA 17.74%, Ganar Alliance 12.08%, PPQ 4.46%, MH 3.19%; other 23.43%; seats by party/coalition - ANR 42, PLRA 17, Ganar Alliance 13, PPQ 3, MH 2, other 3; composition - men 66, women 14, percent of women 17.5%; note - total National Congress percent of women 18.4%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 9 justices divided 3 each into the Constitutional Court, Civil and Commercial Chamber, and Criminal Division)

judge selection and term of office: justices proposed by the Council of Magistrates or Consejo de la Magistratura, a 6-member independent body, and appointed by the Chamber of Senators with presidential concurrence; judges can serve until mandatory retirement at age 75

subordinate courts: appellate courts; first instance courts; minor courts, including justices of the peace

Political parties and leaders

Asociacion Nacional Republicana - Colorado Party or ANR [Pedro ALLIANA]
Avanza Pais coalition or AP [Adolfo FERREIRO]
Broad Front coalition (Frente Guasu) or FG [Esperanza MARTINEZ]
Ganar Alliance (alliance between PLRA and Guasu Front)
Movimiento Cruzada Nacional or MCN
Movimiento Hagamos or MH [Antonio "Tony" APURIL]
Movimiento Union Nacional de Ciudadanos Eticos or UNACE [Jorge OVIEDO MATTO]
Partido del Movimiento al Socialismo or P-MAS [Camilo Ernesto SOARES Machado]
Partido Democratica Progresista or PDP [Rafael FILIZZOLA]
Partido Encuentro Nacional or PEN [Hermann RATZLAFFIN Klippemstein]
Partido Liberal Radical Autentico or PLRA [Efrain ALEGRE]
Partido Pais Solidario or PPS [Carlos Alberto FILIZZOLA Pallares]
Partido Popular Tekojoja or PPT [Sixto PEREIRA Galeano]
Patria Querida (Beloved Fatherland Party) or PPQ [Miguel CARRIZOSA]

International organization participation

CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Manuel Maria CACERES (since 11 January 2019)

chancery: 2400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 483-6960 through 6962

FAX: [1] (202) 234-4508

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Lee MCCLENNY (since 20 February 2018)

telephone: [595] (21) 213-715

embassy: 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Casilla Postal 402, Asuncion

mailing address: Unit 4711, DPO AA 34036-0001

FAX: [595] (21) 213-728

Flag description

three equal, horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue with an emblem centered in the white band; unusual flag in that the emblem is different on each side; the obverse (hoist side at the left) bears the national coat of arms (a yellow five-pointed star within a green wreath capped by the words REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY, all within two circles); the reverse (hoist side at the right) bears a circular seal of the treasury (a yellow lion below a red Cap of Liberty and the words PAZ Y JUSTICIA (Peace and Justice)); red symbolizes bravery and patriotism, white represents integrity and peace, and blue denotes liberty and generosity

note: the three color bands resemble those on the flag of the Netherlands; one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Moldova and Saudi Arabia

National symbol(s)

lion; national colors: red, white, blue

National anthem

name: "Paraguayos, Republica o muerte!" (Paraguayans, The Republic or Death!)

lyrics/music: Francisco Esteban ACUNA de Figueroa/disputed

note: adopted 1934, in use since 1846; officially adopted following its re-arrangement in 1934

Economy

Economic overview

Landlocked Paraguay has a market economy distinguished by a large informal sector, featuring re-export of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries, as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. A large percentage of the population, especially in rural areas, derives its living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain.

On a per capita basis, real income has grown steadily over the past five years as strong world demand for commodities, combined with high prices and favorable weather, supported Paraguay's commodity-based export expansion. Paraguay is the fifth largest soy producer in the world. Drought hit in 2008, reducing agricultural exports and slowing the economy even before the onset of the global recession. The economy fell 3.8% in 2009, as lower world demand and commodity prices caused exports to contract. Severe drought and outbreaks of hoof-and-mouth disease in 2012 led to a brief drop in beef and other agricultural exports. Since 2014, however, Paraguay’s economy has grown at a 4% average annual rate due to strong production and high global prices, at a time when other countries in the region have contracted.

The Paraguayan Government recognizes the need to diversify its economy and has taken steps in recent years to do so. In addition to looking for new commodity markets in the Middle East and Europe, Paraguayan officials have promoted the country’s low labor costs, cheap energy from its massive Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam, and single-digit tax rate on foreign firms. As a result, the number of factories operating in the country – mostly transplants from Brazil - has tripled since 2014.

Corruption, limited progress on structural reform, and deficient infrastructure are the main obstacles to long-term growth. Judicial corruption is endemic and is seen as the greatest barrier to attracting more foreign investment. Paraguay has been adverse to public debt throughout its history, but has recently sought to finance infrastructure improvements to attract foreign investment.

Real GDP growth rate

4.8% (2017 est.)

4.3% (2016 est.)

3.1% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 55

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB+ (2018)

Moody's rating: Ba1 (2015)

Standard & Poors rating: BB (2014)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$89.362 billion (2019 est.)

$89.388 billion (2018 est.)

$86.486 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 97

GDP (official exchange rate)

$38.94 billion (2017 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$12,685 (2019 est.)

$12,850 (2018 est.)

$12,594 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 126

Gross national saving

21.3% of GDP (2019 est.)

22.6% of GDP (2018 est.)

24.3% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 99

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 17.9% (2017 est.)

industry: 27.7% (2017 est.)

services: 54.5% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 66.7% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.3% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 17.3% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.3% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 46.6% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -42.2% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 59.1 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 76 (2020)

Trading score: 65.1 (2020)

Enforcement score: 61.6 (2020)

Agricultural products

soybeans, sugar cane, maize, cassava, wheat, rice, beef, milk, oranges, oil palm fruit

Industries

sugar processing, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, base metals, electric power

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 26.5%

industry: 18.5%

services: 55% (2008)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.5%

highest 10%: 37.6% (2013 est.)

Budget

revenues: 5.524 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 5.968 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

19.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

18.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 191

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$298 million (2017 est.)

$416 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 108

Exports

$11.73 billion (2017 est.)

$10.86 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 89

Exports - partners

Brazil 32%, Argentina 22%, Chile 8%, Russia 8% (2019)

Exports - commodities

soybeans and soybean products, electricity, beef, corn, insulated wiring (2019)

Imports

$11.35 billion (2017 est.)

$9.617 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 102

Imports - partners

Brazil 24%, United States 22%, China 17%, Argentina 10%, Chile 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

broadcasting equipment, cars, pesticides, refined petroleum, tires (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$7.877 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$6.881 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 79

Debt - external

$16.622 billion (2019 est.)

$16.238 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 102

Exchange rates

guarani (PYG) per US dollar -

7,045 (2020 est.)

6,426 (2019 est.)

5,915.4 (2018 est.)

5,160.4 (2014 est.)

4,462.2 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 309,221

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 4.35 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 107

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 7,602,566

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 106.95 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 100

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the fixed-line market is a state monopoly and fixed-line telephone service is meager; principal switching center is in Asuncion; DSL, cable modem, FttP (fiber to the home) and WiMAX technologies available; competition in mobile market among 4 operators; 18 mobile phones for every fixed-line service phone; mobile and Internet market operators bring new investment and working towards LTE (2020)

domestic: deficiencies in provision of fixed-line service have resulted in a rapid expansion of mobile-cellular services fostered by competition among multiple providers; Internet market also open to competition; fixed-line 4 per 100 and mobile-cellular 107 per 100 (2019)

international: country code - 595; Paraguay's landlocked position means they must depend on neighbors for interconnection with submarine cable networks, making it cost more for broadband services; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media

6 privately owned TV stations; about 75 commercial and community radio stations; 1 state-owned radio network (2019)

Internet users

total: 4,566,043

percent of population: 64.99% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 88

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 320,700

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 5 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 99

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 8

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 560,631 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1.97 million mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 15 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 3 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 7 (2017)

914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 784 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 23 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 290 (2013)

under 914 m: 471 (2013)

Railways

total: 30 km (2014)

standard gauge: 30 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)

country comparison to the world: 133

Roadways

total: 74,676 km (2017)

paved: 6,167 km (2017)

unpaved: 68,509 km (2017)

country comparison to the world: 66

Waterways

3,100 km (primarily on the Paraguay and Paraná River systems) (2012)

country comparison to the world: 32

Merchant marine

total: 110

by type: container ship 3, general cargo 25, oil tanker 5, other 77 (2020)

note: as of 2017, Paraguay registered 2,012 fluvial vessels of which 1,741 were commercial barges

country comparison to the world: 85

Ports and terminals

river port(s): Asuncion, Villeta, San Antonio, Encarnacion (Parana)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Armed Forces Command (Commando de las Fuerzas Militares): Army (Ejercito), Navy (Armada, includes marines), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea) (2021)

Military expenditures

1% of GDP (2019)

0.9% of GDP (2018)

0.9% of GDP (2017)

1% of GDP (2016)

1.1% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 126

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Armed Forces of Paraguay have approximately 14,000 active personnel (9,000 Army; 3,000 Navy; 2,000 Air Force) (2020)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Paraguayan military forces inventory is comprised of mostly older equipment from a variety of foreign suppliers, particularly Brazil and the US; since 2010, Paraguay has acquired small quantities of mostly second-hand military equipment from Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Taiwan, and the US (2020)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy; volunteers for the Air Force must be younger than 22 years of age with a secondary school diploma (2016)

Military - note

as of late 2020, the armed forces were principally focused on the Paraguayan People's Army (Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo, EPP), a Marxist-nationalist insurgent group operating in the rural northern part of the country

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

unruly region at convergence of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is locus of money laundering, smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics trafficking, and fundraising for violent extremist organizations

Illicit drugs

major illicit producer of cannabis, most or all of which is consumed in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile; transshipment country for Andean cocaine headed for Brazil, other Southern Cone markets, and Europe; weak border controls, extensive corruption and money-laundering activity, especially in the Tri-Border Area; weak anti-money-laundering laws and enforcement