HomeNewsBriefParaguay Congress Approves Intelligence Agency Following EPP Attacks
BRIEF

Paraguay Congress Approves Intelligence Agency Following EPP Attacks

EPP / 14 JUL 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

In the wake of recent rebel actions, Paraguay’s legislature has approved the creation of a national intelligence system, but it remains to be seen whether this body will give adequate attention to organized crime issues, let alone neutralize the insurgent threat. 

The creation of the agency was approved unanimously by Paraguay’s House of Representatives on July 10, reported EFE. The bill, which had already been approved by the Senate, is now awaiting consideration from President Horacio Cartes.

If approved by the president, the proposed agency would be responsible for collecting and analyzing information to facilitate coordination on national security issues. In addition, the body would process information on agriculture, health, education and other sectors, reported ABC Color. The head of the agency would be appointed by the president.  

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Hugo Rubin, reportedly told the legislature the creation of a national intelligence system was urgent given the country’s current security situation.

The passage of the law follows two recent high-profile kidnappings allegedly carried out by guerrilla group the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP), as well as an attack on an electricity tower attributed to the group that left thousands without power. The 16-year-old son of ranchers was kidnapped by the EPP in April this year, and a police officer kidnapped on July 5 is also believed to be a hostage of the guerrilla group. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Although the national intelligence system will collect information on a variety of issues, and was promoted by the previous president, Fernando Lugo, the passage of the law could also be linked to recent guerrilla attacks and the perception that the EPP is a growing threat.

The country’s lack of a centralized intelligence system has likely undermined the government’s campaign against the EPP, a group thought to have fewer than one hundred members. There are currently thousands of military personnel stationed in the eastern departments of San Pedro, Amambay and Concepcion, where the EPP operates, but the recent attacks indicate they have had little success combating the guerrillas. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Paraguay

Despite the government’s focus on the EPP, the group is arguably not Paraguay’s biggest threat; any national intelligence agency will need to give significant attention to drug trafficking as well. In addition to being South America’s largest marijuana producer, Paraguay is also a transshipment point for cocaine headed to Brazil and the European market. Brazilian criminal groups the First Capital Command (PCC) and Red Command (CV) are known to operate in Paraguay, and there have been indications of increasingly sophisticated local drug trafficking groups emerging.

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.

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 6 JUL 2017

Under public pressure, Paraguay's deputies backtracked on last-minute modifications that had left completely hollow a bill meant to address criminal…

PARAGUAY / 5 JUL 2017

A sharp increase in marijuana seizures and eradication in Paraguay this year is likely only a temporary trend…

EPP / 23 SEP 2015

New homicide figures from the first six months of the year show that the national murder rate in Paraguay has…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …