The imprisoned leader of Marxist Paraguayan rebel group the EPP has released a 150-page book promoting the ideals of the organization.
Alcides Oviedo Britez, leader of the Paraguayan People's Army (Ejercito del Pueblo Paraguayo - EPP), was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2004 for kidnapping. According to his lawyer Daisy Irala, the publication promotes armed struggle as a method of gaining power and abolishing the “bourgeois” parliamentary system.
The launch of the book, entitled “Political Programme of the Paraguayan People’s Army,” inspired a protest where followers of the EPP defended the guerrilla group's fight to “liberate the people from the oppression in which they live.”
With riot police standing by, family and friends of Oviedo displayed signs referring to the Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo as a traitor.
Thought to have only 100 members, the EPP is an offshoot of the Marxist political party, the Free Homeland Party (PLL), with alleged ties to the FARC. The group has been responsible for bombings and kidnappings throughout northeast Paraguay, which in April 2010 triggered a 30 day state of emergency in five eastern departments while armed forces attempted to combat the group.