On 3rd July, Insight Crime reported that Argentina, Chile and Brazil are struggling with increased demand for smuggled cigarettes, as these provide major revenue for criminal groups and result in massive tax losses for national governments. It says that contraband cigarettes now represent more than half the cigarettes for sale in Brazil, 24% in Chile and 12% in Argentina. In Argentina, the number of illegal cigarettes seized by authorities jumped to some 1.2 million packs in 2018. It says that Paraguay cigarette production spurs much of the black-market trade. That country produces some 65 billion cigarettes a year, but only consumes only some 2.5 billion, according to a 2013 study. It is said that nearly three-quarters of illicit cigarettes in 16 Latin American countries originated in Paraguay. The article says that former Paraguay President Horacio Cartes has been at the centre of the illegal cigarette trade in Latin America and beyond, and that his family’s company, Tabacalera Del Este, is one of the main sources of smuggled tobacco.