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2005-04-07 20:53:00
Embassy Asuncion
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Tags:   ETTC  OTRA  PA 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASUNCION 000479 


E.O. 12958: N/A




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. As requested in reftel, country clearance is granted
for James Perez, Economic/Commercial Chief at Embassy
Montevideo, (Security clearance: top secret) for travel
to Asuncion, Paraguay from April 10-12, 2005 for the
purpose of meeting with OTA Resident Enforcement
Advisor and holding discussions with SEPRELAD
officials. The contact person for the visit is
Resident Enforcement Advisor Joe Parker, office tel.:
595/21 213-715, ext. 2015. Home tel.: 595/21 612-758,
Cellular tel. Number: (0971) 203-420.

2. Hotel reservations have been confirmed at the
Asuncion Sheraton hotel, (address: Av. Aviadores del
Chaco 2066; telephone: 595/21 617-7000). This hotel is
located approximately five miles from the Embassy.
Cost of the single room is USD 110 per night with tax
and breakfast included.

3. Due to the high volume of TDY personnel the Embassy
receives, we are able to meet and assist only personnel
who are traveling with large amounts of technical
equipment. Taxis are available from the airport. A
taxi ride from the airport to your hotel may cost you
anywhere from 45,000 to 62,000 guaranies, approximately
8 to 10 USD.

4. All U.S. citizens traveling to Paraguay are now
required to have visas. Airport and border visas are
not available at this time. Please contact the
Paraguayan Embassy or closest Consulate for more
information, especially if you require a multiple entry

5. If travel plans involve visiting neighboring
countries in the region, please arrive with appropriate
visas and obtain country clearances from the
appropriate U.S. Embassies. Brazil and Argentina
requires visas for official travelers on diplomatic,
official, and/or personal passports. Official visitors
contemplating travel to Iguazu Falls should advise the
Embassy before doing so as well as Embassy Brasilia
and/or Embassy Buenos Aires if they plan to cross into
Brazil and Argentina. Travelers are reminded that
Iguazu Falls is located on the border of Brazil and
Argentina, about ten miles east of Ciudad del Este,
Paraguay, and that travelers from Paraguay cross into

6. Post recommends that even though you will be only
transiting Brazil, you also obtain a Brazilian visa. If
the airline cancels or delays its flight to Asuncion,

then you may have to stay in Sao Paulo for one day
while waiting for the next available flight to
Asuncion. Brazilian authorities will not permit you to
leave the airport to go to a hotel without a valid
Brazilian visa. U.S. citizens may be fingerprinted and
photographed upon entry into Brazil. This applies to
holders of diplomatic and official passports, as well
as tourist passports.

7. Threat Assessment:

A. Political Violence-Terrorism: There are no
indigenous terrorist organizations in Paraguay. There
are no political groups or parties that are currently
active in this country that are specifically targeting
U.S. interests. However, given the presence of members
of and support for extremist terrorist groups in the
tri-border region (Alto Parana and Itapua Departments),
visitors here cannot discount the possibility of
terrorist activity, to include random acts of anti-
American violence.

B. Crime: Paraguay is a high-threat post for crime.
Petty street crime in the city of Asuncion and the
immediate suburbs continues to be a problem for
residents and visitors alike. Visitors to the city of
Asuncion should be aware of problems with pickpockets
or purse snatchers on the street or on public
transportation. Until recently, most crime affecting
visitors has been non-violent; aggravated robberies,
shootings, etc., while not completely unheard of in
Asuncion, were nonetheless uncommon. However,
incidents of armed robberies of businesses and
residences by criminal groups are occurring with
greater frequency, and as a result, it is recommended
that due caution be exercised when traveling about the

8. The seasons in Paraguay are the opposite of those in
the United States. Asuncion's climate is extremely hot
from November through April and cool or mild in July
and August. The transitional seasons, May - June and
September - October are unpredictable: they can be
pleasant or hot. Health conditions generally are good.
The water in Asuncion is potable, and there are few
reports of intestinal or stomach problems. There is no
endemic hepatitis or malaria in Asuncion although
outbreaks of dengue fever are recurrent.

9. As of April 7, 2005 the exchange rate is 6,260
guaranies to one US dollar. Personal Finances:
official travelers may cash personal checks at the
Embassy for amounts up to US$ 750.00 per week; and use
their ATM cards at one of the many terminals located
throughout the city. Because of restrictions with the
Embassy bank, Citibank, traveler's checks may only be
cashed with one of the local exchange houses.

10. Laptops/Palm Pilots, cellular telephones and other
electronic devices: Laptops/Palm Pilots may not be
brought into the Embassy without the prior approval of
the Regional Security Office. Personally owned
laptops/palm pilots may not/not be used in the Embassy.
USG-owned laptops may only be used in Controlled Access
Areas (CAA) if the user certifies that the computer has
been continuously under the personal control of a
cleared American throughout transit. If this
requirement is not met, the laptop can only be utilized
outside of the CAA. USG-owned palm pilots are under
the same restrictions as cellular phones and other
electronic devices, and may not be utilized within the

11. Security Clearance: State Department policy requires
that all official visitors verify their security clearances,
in writing, with the RSO in order to have unescorted access
to the Embassy. Visitors whose clearances are not verified
must be escorted at all times. TDY'ers must schedule a
security in-briefing with the security office as soon as
possible after arriving at post. Access badges will not be
issued until the employee has acknowledged receipt of the
required security briefing.