ASUNCION, Paraguay—A Paraguayan senator who narrowly survived an ambush by gunmen said his country's remote border with Brazil is coming to resemble Mexico's violence-wracked Ciudad Juarez.
Sen. Roberto Acevedo spoke Tuesday as he recovered in a hospital bed from being shot twice in the arm when gunmen attacked his SUV, killing his driver and bodyguard.
Acevedo said he believes the attack in Pedro Juan Caballero, a border town in far northern Paraguay, was ordered by drug traffickers who put a $300,000 price on his head.
"I was saved by a miracle," he told radio Primero de Marzo. "Sooner or later they will come to get me. Pedro Juan is becoming something similar to the Mexican city of Juarez."
Police representative Ever Vazquez acknowledged that law enforcement is stretched thin along the 1,000-kilometer (600- mile) border with Brazil. He said about eight bodies, the likely victims of drug trafficking turf battles, turn up each month in the sparsely populated region.
The attack on Acevedo took place despite a military and police offensive in northern Paraguay against leftist guerrillas blamed for kidnappings.
President Fernando Lugo, whose government has imposed provisions of martial law across five states in pursuit of the guerrillas, said police and soldiers also would detain any traffickers they find in Paraguay's dense northern jungles, where marijuana plantations feed markets on both sides of the border.