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BRIEF

Notebook Details Paraguay Guerrilla Operations

EPP / 23 JUL 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

The discovery of a notebook belonging to a Paraguayan guerrilla has raised concerns about the growing strength of the country's leftwing rebel movement.

Found in a Paraguayan People's Army (EPP) camp, ABC Newspaper reported the document describes bomb testing carried out during New Year's Eve celebrations and training sessions for members.

An entry dated November 25, 2005, reads: "I'm beginning my preparation for the mission, which involves gathering information about the terrain, places, the village, stream, rivers and estuary and physical resistance training."

In another part of the document, the guerrilla discusses experimenting with bombs on New Year's Eve. An entry with various spelling and grammar errors says: "We did an explosive experiment while people were celebrating the arrival of the New Years. We were trying the material, and it worked. We did four explosions at midnight like in order to confuse the explosives with rockets that the people did, but our explosion turned out more powerful (in) that it exceeded those of the population so some of them noticed (what) they said (was a) thunderbolt, (a) comet."

InSight Crime Analysis

While still a small group, with estimates of members ranging between 30 and 100, the leftist EPP has shown increasing signs of strength in recent years. After a six-year lull, they made a comeback in 2011, significantly stepping up kidnappings, bombings and extortion. The government stated last year that they planned to eliminate the guerrilla group once and for all but have failed -- one attack during presidential elections in May 2013 killed a policeman and injured five others. 

Former President Fernando Lugo, controversially impeached in June 2012, was accused of having links to the EPP. However, incoming President Horacio Cartes, who's believed to have played a key role in Lugo's ousting, faces serious allegations of links to drug trafficking and other organized crime. The EPP is also believed to get a significant amount of its income from marijuana.

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