An Argentine lawyer known for representing two Brazilians accused of leading drug-trafficking gangs has been shot dead in Paraguay, close to the border with Brazil, police said Tuesday.
The victim, identified as lawyer Laura Casuso, was pronounced dead of injuries related to gunshot wounds early Tuesday morning at a hospital in Pedro Juan Caballero, close to the Brazilian border city of Ponta Porá and some 550 kilometres northeast of Asunción.
According to initial reports, Caruso was shot by a hit man after leaving a house, in what appears to be a targeted assassination.
The attack was filmed by CCTV cameras and reported by local media. The attacker fled the scene in a van with several unidentified men.
Casuso had lived in Paraguay for many years and had represented notable clients including suspected drug-trafficker Jarvis Chimenes Pavao (who was recently extradited back to Brazil), and Marcelo Pinheiro, the suspected leader of the powerful Comando Vermelho gang known as "Piloto," whose extradition request is in process.
The police declared themselves on alert for the action of criminals from Comando Vermelho, based in Rio de Janeiro, and another gang known as the Primeiro Comando Capital (PCC), which operates out of São Paulo.
Members of that gang are believed to have moved to Paraguay of late, in the wake of fierce operations waged by the Brazilian authorities against them.