HomeNewsBriefParaguay Launches Anti-Guerrilla Offensive After Rancher Assassination
BRIEF

Paraguay Launches Anti-Guerrilla Offensive After Rancher Assassination

EPP / 3 JUN 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

The murder of a well-known cattle farmer in Paraguay has put the activities of left-wing guerrillas in the country at the top of the country's political agenda, with joint military and police operations planned in rural areas.

Interior Minister Carmelo Caballero announced the creation of a "Crisis Commission" to track and attack members of the Paraguayan People's Army (EPP) in the departments of San Pedro and Concepcion, reported Info BAE, following last Friday's assassination of Luis Lindstron, a 63-year-old cattle rancher and former mayor of the San Pedro town of Tacuati. Lindstron had been kidnapped by the EPP in 2008 and according to family members had been regularly extorted and threatened since, reported ABC.

Tacuati mayor Orlando de Vaca said there were only 15 to 20 police working in the 228,000 hectare area, where people lived under "constant threat" from the EPP due to the conflict between guerrilla interests and local farming. "The community feels very scared," he said. "[The EPP] don't want us to carry out deforestation, to industrialize the land (…) but if we are poor what are we going to do?" Lindstron had given work to 50 percent of the Tacuati population, he told radio station Cardinal.

InSight Crime Analysis

Lindstron's killing is the first murder of a rancher in Paraguay, reported Info BAE, and has sparked widespread anger and controversy about the EPP's power and government incompetence or collusion. Lindstron's brothers have accused both former President Fernando Lugo and the police of being to blame for the killing - Lugo for "protecting" the EPP, and the police for failing to take seriously the regular threats their relative received since his 2008 kidnapping. Threats had been increasing in frequency and seriousness, reported ABC, most recently in the form of a note received by Lindstron on April 18 following the murder of a tractor operator in his area, warning him he would be kidnapped or killed. Senator Hugo Richer told radio station Radio Nanduti that the real issue was the mafias controlled by powerful economic and political interests, for whom the EPP was a front, while San Pedro prosecutor Lillian Ruiz told Monumental radio Lindstron had believed local police might sell him to the guerrillas.

It's a troubling scene that suggests the, albeit small, guerrilla group is wielding considerable clout following last year's surge, during which it carried out 40 percent of its total attacks since 2005. Lindstron's killing raises the question of whether the security forces are either unable or unwilling to truly get to grips with the EPP threat.

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

HOMICIDES / 16 FEB 2022

Brazen killings by hired gunmen have not only shaken Paraguay recently but shined a light on the growing use of…

ARGENTINA / 24 SEP 2021

An influx of contraband chicken from Argentina into Paraguay has overwhelmed the local market and is threatening to put local…

CLAN ROTELA / 25 FEB 2021

Paraguay’s capital is a transit point for Bolivian cocaine shipped through the Tri-Border area, bound for Brazil. The Paraguay River,…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…