HomeNewsBrief100 Days In, Paraguay President's War on EPP Sees Little Progress
BRIEF

100 Days In, Paraguay President's War on EPP Sees Little Progress

EPP / 22 NOV 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Paraguay's new head of state declared a frontal assault on the northern EPP guerrillas in August, but just shy of 100 days into his presidency, there is little sign the group has been weakened while troubles in the rest of the country continue apace.

Shortly after President Horacio Cartes assumed office on August 15, he was faced with the most deadly attack yet by the Paraguayan People's Army (EPP), in the north-central department of Tacuati. Days later, rebels attacked a police patrol in the same department, injuring two. Following these attacks, Cartes was granted powers that allowed him to move 400 soldiers, 60 of them special forces, into the north -- EPP territory.

On November 20, authorities arrested the sister of an EPP leader, who allegedly provided logistical support in the kidnapping and killing of a cattle rancher earlier this year. The arrest followed an early November statement by Interior Minister Francisco de Vargas that the government had captured four suspected EPP members and identified eight more since beginning a military campaign against the group in late August, reported Ultima Hora.

However, results have been limited, as Ultima Hora reported. Shootouts between police and rebels have been unfruitful, the leaders remain at large, and an October attack left one government employee dead and several police injured.

InSight Crime Analysis

The EPP appears to have gained strength in recent years, which could be thanks in part to an alleged relationship with international drug traffickers. However, the group is still thought to number under 100 fighters, making it a relatively small security challenge compared to problems such as drug trafficking in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) with Brazil and Argentina, facilitated by impunity in the region, and the growing presence of transnational criminal groups.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Paraguay

In this context, questions remain not only over the effectiveness of Cartes' campaign against the EPP -- which has also involved the offering of monetary awards for information about rebel leaders -- but also of the purpose it is serving. Though the president initially claimed the group would not mark his agenda, since assuming power he has made the eradication of the EPP one of his flagship projects.

For Cartes, who has himself been accused of drug trafficking ties, the EPP may be little more than a convenient target that allows him to point to concrete successes of his administration in the fight against organized crime and while his campaign has few solid results to celebrate, it has at least dominated the country's security discourse.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 6 DEC 2016

This week marks ten years since Mexico's government embarked on a militarized campaign against the country's criminal organizations, but while…

MEXICO / 17 SEP 2015

The number of minors arrested on organized crime charges in Mexico has declined significantly since President Enrique Peña Nieto took…

EX-FARC MAFIA / 14 JAN 2017

At the end of every year, InSight Crime looks into the crystal ball and predicts what the big criminal risks…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…