HomeNewsBriefParaguay Rebels Accuse Government of Drug Trafficking: Video
BRIEF

Paraguay Rebels Accuse Government of Drug Trafficking: Video

EPP / 21 JAN 2014 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

The EPP has accused Paraguay's government of complicity in drug trafficking and corruption in two new videos, which authorities insist will provide valuable information on the guerrilla group.

Filmed on December 24 and December 30, 2013, the videos (broken into five segments here) depict a Paraguayan Peoples' Army (EPP) camp in a wooded area with food and decorations suggestive of a festive celebration. The first shows a number of guerrillas -- 18, including seven women, according to ABC Color -- in military fatigues, and the second is an address by commander Osvaldo Villalba in which he decries the abuse of power and corruption of the country's elite in the face of grinding poverty for the majority of Paraguayans.

SEE ALSO:Coverage of the EPP

Following the publication of the video, Paraguayan Interior Minister Francisco de Vargas said the videos would be studied by authorities, as they promised to provide significant information about the group's military capabilities and potentially reveal the identities of guerrilla members. In the videos, several guerrillas previously identified by authorities -- including Villalba -- appear with their faces visible, while others remain covered up.

The videos have been made public less than a week after the death of a soldier injured in an ambush by the EPP in December 2013. He became the second soldier killed by the rebels after one died in that same confrontation.

InSight Crime Analysis

The EPP accusations of drug trafficking and corruption are just the latest to be launched at the government of Horacio Cartes, who has been surrounded by controversy since mid-2013, when it became clear he was the frontrunner to win the presidency. Following his victory, Cartes promised to attack the country's underworld and has prioritized pursuing the EPP, albeit with little success so far.

While the focus on the EPP might be strategically ill-advised -- given the small size of the rebel organization, as compared to the country's major marijuana and contraband trafficking problems -- it has served as a way for Cartes to garner public support and allowed him to push through sweeping new powers.

While the EPP have accused the government of involvement in drug trafficking, there are signs the rebels themselves may be earning money by taxing traffickers or providing security for drug shipments. The guerrillas are thought to have received training from Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) -- to whom the EPP's use of kidnapping has been attributed -- and could be emulating the Colombian group's involvement in the drug trade as a source of financing.

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 / 29 SEP 2011

Paraguay’s House of Representatives indefinitely postponed the declaration of a state of emergency in the north of the country, which…

EPP / 6 MAR 2012

In spite of a security surge by the Paraguayan military, the country’s elusive rebel army is rapidly gaining momentum, having…

PARAGUAY / 1 SEP 2011

The scandal unleashed when Interpol agents in Paraguay shot dead a 4-year-old while working for a local drug trafficker will…

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…