Ciudad del Este

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Ciudad del Este
Ciudad del Este 20120427 411.jpg
Ciudad del Este is located in Paraguay
Ciudad del Este
Ciudad del Este
Location of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay
Coordinates: 25°31′00″S 54°37′00″W / 25.51667°S 54.61667°W / -25.51667; -54.61667Coordinates: 25°31′00″S 54°37′00″W / 25.51667°S 54.61667°W / -25.51667; -54.61667
Country  Paraguay
Department Alto Paraná
Founded February 3, 1957
 • Intendente Municipal Sandra Mac Leod de Zacarias
 • Total 104 km2 (40 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Total 320,782
 • Density 3,100/km2 (8,000/sq mi)
Time zone AST (UTC-04)
 • Summer (DST) ADT (UTC-03)
Postal code 7000
Area code(s) (595) (61)
Website Official website

Ciudad del Este (Spanish pronunciation: [sjuˈðað ðel ˈeste], Spanish for City of the East) is the second largest city in Paraguay and capital of the Alto Paraná Department, situated on the Rio Paraná. As of 2008 its population was of 320,782.


Founded in 1957, it was originally called Puerto Flor de Lis, then until 1989 Puerto Presidente Stroessner, after Alfredo Stroessner. The city is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ciudad del Este.


The city, coextensive with the homonymous district, is located in south-eastern Paraguay. Part of a "triangle" known as the Triple Frontier, Ciudad del Este lies in front of the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguaçu (state of Paraná). Separated from it by Paraná River, it is linked by the Friendship Bridge. The Argentine border is located between the neighbouring town of Presidente Franco and Puerto Iguazú (Misiones Province).

Ciudad del Este, along with the towns and districts of Hernandarias, Minga Guazú and Presidente Franco, forms a metropolitan area named Gran Ciudad del Este (i.e. Greater Ciudad del Este).


The city has a large Asian-born population, specifically Taiwanese, Koreans, Lebanese, and Iranians, evident in the city's mosques and pagodas. The Taiwanese government paid for the construction of the city's town hall in exchange for Paraguayan support in the United Nations, hence the Taiwanese flag that flies on the building.

From the 1970s, Sunni Muslim Arabs moved to the city. This changed in the 1980s to Shia Muslim Arabs from South Lebanon.[1]


CDE was, according to Forbes, the third largest commercial city in the world between 1990 and 2002.[citation needed] The city is the headquarters of the company that operates the nearby Itaipu Dam.[citation needed] The city's economy (and Paraguay's economy as well) relies heavily on the mood of the Brazilian economy, as 95% of Paraguay's share of the energy generated by the Itaipu Dam is sold to Brazil (for US$300 million), and that every day many Brazilians cross the border to buy less expensive products[2] (US$1.2 billion, mostly electronics). Smuggling is a major occupation in the city, with some estimates putting the value of this black market at five times the national economy. Some military and intelligence agencies state that there are terrorist organizations in the area, no evidence of this has been found.[3][4]


Guarani International Airport, located in the suburb city of Minga Guazú, connects the city with other South American destinations.

In media[edit]

  • Ciudad del Este was featured during a late season 8/early season 9 storyline on the television series JAG in 2003.
  • In 2005, it was a filming location for Miami Vice, a film directed by Michael Mann and based on his television series of the same name.
  • The Triple Frontier (or here referenced as the Tri-Border Area) was featured as the backdrop for the NCIS Season 2 episode "An Eye for an Eye", as NCIS Special Agents Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) and Caitlin Todd (Sasha Alexander) traveled to this area of southern Paraguay in order to investigate a professor involved in a case in which a pair of blue eyeballs were mailed to a man who then committed suicide. A deleted scene from this episode would later be shown in the Season 8 episode, "A Man Walks into a Bar" as the team remember their dead colleague, Agent Todd.
  • The city was also mentioned in Vince Flynn's novel, Extreme Measures. A terrorist uses this city as a training area before staging a somewhat successful operation on the United States
  • The city is the setting for the 2014 graphic novel "Cuidad", written by Ande Parks and illustrated by Fernando Leon Gonzalez.



  1. ^ John Tofik Karam, (Un)covering Islam and Its Fifty-Year History in a South American Frontier Region (2011), Florida International University.
  2. ^ Schemo, Diana Jean (March 15, 1998). "In Paraguay Border Town, Almost Anything Goes". New York Times. 
  3. ^ Abbott, Lieutenant Colonel Philip K. (September–October 2004). "Terrorist Threat in the Tri-Border Area: Myth or Reality?". Military Review. U.S. Army. 
  4. ^ Gato, Pablo; Windrem, Robert (9 May 2007). "Hezbollah builds a Western base.". NBC News. 
  5. ^ "Ciudad del Este Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 

External links[edit]