HomeNewsBriefParaguay Guerrillas 'Demand Prisoner Swap, Threaten to Kill Hostage'
BRIEF

Paraguay Guerrillas 'Demand Prisoner Swap, Threaten to Kill Hostage'

EPP / 1 OCT 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Paraguay's EPP guerrillas have threatened to kill a kidnapped police officer if the government refuses to carry out a prisoner exchange, according to reports. If accurate, this would confirm suspicions that EPP are using similar tactics to Colombia's FARC rebels, kidnapping to force the release of imprisoned guerrillas.

On September 30, neighbors of Edelio Morinigo received a letter signed in the name of the Paraguayan People's Army (EPP) demanding the release of EPP prisoners in exchange for Morinigo's freedom, reported ABC Color. The letter stated that Morinigo would be executed if the government did not release half of the incarcerated EPP members by October 14.

According to La Nacion, Morinigo's mother stated that the letter also demanded the police and military Joint Task Force (FTC) leave the northern region of the country, where it is currently conducting operations against the EPP and splinter group the Armed Peasant Association (ACA).

In response, Attorney General Javier Diaz Veron told ABC Color the government is not considering the possibility of a prisoner exchange, and that even discussing the option would make the state "appear very weak." Echoing this position, Joint Task Force spokesman Victor Urdapilleta told Ultima Hora the security force would continue operations aimed at rescuing EPP hostages.    

InSight Crime Analysis

Morinigo is thought to have been kidnapped by the EPP on July 5 while hunting in Concepcion province, northern Paraguay. His disappearance fueled speculation that the EPP would seek a prisoner exchange, since there was no ransom demand. The rebel group is thought to number only some 30 members, and supporting two hostages would be a serious drain on their resources -- justified only if they are expecting to gain a significant advantage.

This would not be the first time the EPP has called for a prisoner exchange. In May, incarcerated EPP leader Alcides Oviedo Britez wrote a letter in response to pleas that the rebels free 16-year-old kidnapping victim Arlan Fick, stating that "there will be no release order if it does not imply in return a release order for all EPP members suffering in government prisons."

SEE ALSO: FARC News and Profile

Taking hostages in an attempt to negotiate a prisoner exchange is a tactic that has been employed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which abducted politicians, members of security forces, and other individuals for this purpose starting in the 1990s. The EPP is believed to have ties to the FARC, and may have even received training and military aid from the Colombian rebel group. 

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

COCAINE / 20 JAN 2015

Paraguay officials say police based along the Brazilian border stole a shipment of seized cocaine, more evidence of official corruption…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 25 NOV 2011

The Brazilian Ministry of Defense has deployed 6,500 troops along its border with Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru in a huge…

EPP / 27 JAN 2017

Paraguay's main guerrilla group has demanded that the family of a hostage provide aid to impoverished communities in exchange for…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…