Known as one of the world's most dangerous places, South America's tri-border region has become notorious as a center of drug smuggling, counterfeiting, and terrorism. Loose enforcement of immigration laws and haphazard border security in this area between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay have made it an attractive place for immigrants, tourists, and criminals alike. Largely deserted prior to 1960, the tri-border region’s current reputation is the product of its long history. Spain and Portugal both claimed the region, and attempted to transform it through numerous invasions. However, in the centuries since the first Europeans explored and settled the region, no single country, leader, or military force has controlled the area. Efforts to establish uniform borders consistently fail because of the region’s geography, changes in demographics, and economic ties within the region and continent.