HomeNewsBriefArmy Failure Casts Doubt Over Paraguay's Anti-EPP Efforts
BRIEF

Army Failure Casts Doubt Over Paraguay's Anti-EPP Efforts

EPP / 10 DEC 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Paraguay's EPP guerrillas have killed a soldier for the first time after a military operation spectacularly backfired, raising the question of whether the new government has the capacity to wage the war it has declared on the rebels.

On December 8, a joint task force consisting of army and police personnel was ambushed by a guerrilla cell from the Paraguay People's Army (EPP) as they prepared what was supposed to be a surprise attack against the same cell. The attack -- in the Horqueta district of the state of Concepcion -- left one soldier dead and another seriously wounded, with the estimated five guerrillas escaping unharmed.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of EPP

Preliminary reports on the operation suggest that barking dogs and other noises gave away the position of the security forces, allowing the EPP cell to pack away their camp and circle back on the unit.

The day after the assault, Interior Minister Francisco De Vargas admitted the operation had been a tactical failure but said they had no information regarding rumors the guerrillas had been tipped off and refused to comment on suggestions of tensions between the military and the police.

The killing brings the total number of dead attributed to EPP violence to 33 since 2005, but all previous victims have been police or civilians, reported EFE.

InSight Crime Analysis

Until recently, taking on the EPP had been tasked to the police and not the armed forces. This has changed under the Presidency of Horacio Cartes, who has used his first 100 days in office to militarize anti-guerrilla efforts as part of a frontal assault against the rebels.

Cartes' policies have included passing reforms to the National Defense Law that granted him direct power over military deployments, which he said would allow him to react more efficiently to the threat of the EPP.

However, the operation on Sunday, which EFE reported was the first time the military has directly led an attack on the EPP, raises concerns over whether the military has the resources and training required to effectively carry out counter-insurgency operations.

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.

Tags

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

BRAZIL / 13 APR 2011

Paraguay captured five alleged members of Brazilian gang Red Command (Comando Vermelho), a sign of Brazil's organized crime stretching out…

ARGENTINA / 27 FEB 2017

A string of arrests has led Argentina's Security Minister to denounce the links between drug trafficking and local politics in…

BRAZIL / 31 AUG 2011

Sky-high rates of car theft in São Paulo are fueled by an international car trafficking industry that reportedly funds Brazil's…

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…