HomeNewsBriefLeaked Videos Show Inner Workings of Paraguay's EPP Guerrillas
BRIEF

Leaked Videos Show Inner Workings of Paraguay's EPP Guerrillas

EPP / 10 JUN 2014 BY CAMILO MEJIA GIRALDO EN

More than 60 videos filmed by Paraguay's EPP guerrillas have been leaked to the media, offering an unprecedented insight into the clandestine operations of one of Latin America's newest insurgent groups.

The videos were recovered from a camera belonging to Paraguayan People's Army (EPP) leader Bernardo Bernal Maiz, who was killed in a firefight with the military in April, ABC Color reported. They were reportedly leaked to the media from those investigating the kidnapping of 16-year-old Arlan Fick Bremm, who has now been held captive for 70 days.

According to Ultima Hora, the videos show the EPP conducting surveillance operations of ranches in the lead up to kidnapping operations, including that of Fick Bremm's family. 

The footage also shows the EPP's training excercises and the group's main encampment, depicting a total of 18 soldiers -- including seven women and various underage members -- according to Ultima Hora.

Authorities have used the footage to identify a number of previously unknown EPP leaders and members, Ultima Hora reported.

Along with the group's operations, the videos also revealed footage from the 2009 kidnapping of farmer Fidel Zavala and his eventual $550,000 ransom payment -- airdropped into the jungle by a light plane (see below and bottom).

InSight Crime Analysis

The videos offer an unusual opportunity to see the activities of a guerrilla group that was only formally constituted in 2008 and about which little is known.

As the footage demonstrates, the EPP have followed the route taken by other insurgent organizations elsewhere in their early years -- most notably the Revoultionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) -- by funding themselves through kidnapping.

There have been indications the EPP could continue to evolve along similar lines as their Colombian counterparts, by branching out into the drug trade. In 2013, Paraguayan authorities claimed to have uncovered ties between the EPP and the region's drug traffickers, who they said supplied the rebels with arms in exchange for protection.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Paraguay

Although thought to have only between 20 and 100 members, the EPP have become the security priority of President Horacio Cartes. However, security forces have so far had mixed results and the guerrilla group appears to be maintaining business as usual. 

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

EPP / 16 AUG 2015

Recent reports of attacks and threats by two non-state militias have shaken Paraguay, where authorities are already struggling to contain…

ELITES AND CRIME / 20 OCT 2021

The killing of four young people in Paraguay’s border city of Pedro Juan Caballero has led back to an imprisoned…

EPP / 31 MAY 2017

Paraguay's task force targeting the EPP guerrilla group has been assigned its seventh commander in less than four years, a…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…