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

SECURITY POLICY / 27 MAR 2015

The new report by the US Department of Justice on the sexual misconduct of four law enforcement agencies is full…

PARAGUAY / 12 AUG 2011

An official affirmed that individuals with arrest warrants greatly outnumber police in Paraguay, an uneasy sign of the country's lack…

COLOMBIA / 31 AUG 2015

A recent visit by El Salvador delegates to Colombia points to the limits of transferring Colombia's security strategies abroad.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…