translated from Spanish: Former President Oscar Denis celebrates a week kidnapped by EPP guerrilla

Asunción, Paraguay.- The former vice president of Paraguay, Oscar Denis, 74, celebrates on Wednesday a week kidnapped by the Paraguayan People’s Army (PPE) guerrilla, who made it a condition for his freedom for his family to distribute $2 million worth of food and equipment in northern peasant communities. Together with the former vice president, the PPE took a worker from his livestock farm, Adelio Mendoza, an indigenous young man, 21, who was already released on Monday afternoon and returned on foot to that location, in the vicinity of the kidnapping, between the departments of Amambay and Concepción, according to the authorities.
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Denis’ release is now pending the family meeting the demands that the PPE sent them in a statement last Friday, the distribution of food to 40 rural settlements, which they began to make on Sunday, and with a deadline until this Thursday. In the same statement, the PPE demanded the release of Carmen Villalba and Alcides Oviedo, considered historical leaders of that guerrillas and who serve long sentences in prison, to which the Government of Mario Abdo Benítez responded.

Beatrice Denis, daughter of Oscar Denis, shows one of the requirements on the part of the PPE for the release of her kidnapped father. / Photograph: EFE.

The politician’s family continues to ask the guerrillas for proof of their father’s life, as the role with his signature on the stock exchange where that statement was found is not enough. In addition, the family asked security forces on Monday to stay away from the area where they deposited the drugs for their father, who has type 2 diabetes and hypertension. This is also a demand from the PPE, which demanded that this area be cleared in order to collect these medicines and at the same time establish a safe zone to liberate Mendoza, which would not have been the target of the abduction. Mendoza assured the family that during the time of captivity he was with Denis, but that he could only hear him talk to the kidnappers, as he had blindfolded. KIDNAPPING WITH POLITICAL CONNOTATIONSal little of the abduction of Denis, the interior holder, Euclides Acevedo, told the press from Concepción that it had “a great political connotation”, being the largest public figure held by the PPE, although it was retired and dedicated to its livestock company. In addition to being vice president of Paraguay between 2012 and 2013, Denis was governor of Concepción, senator, deputy and holder of the Liberal Party, the largest of the opposition.

Paraguay’s former vice president, Oscar Denis. / Photograph: EFE.

The kidnapping came a week after a questioned operation between the Joint Task Force (FTC), a mixed group of police and military, and the PPE, in which two 11-year-old Argentine girls were killed. The confrontation, initially described as “successful” by the Executive, was heavily criticized by the main opposition groups in confirming the age of the girls, with Argentine nationality and alleged daughters of the guerrilla leaders, according to the government.GUERRILLA MARXISTALa guerilla EPP was founded in 2008, according to analysts under Marxist postulates and following the model of the Colombian FARC. Its area of influence is the departments of Concepción, San Pedro, and Amambay, in northern Paraguay, areas where the small peasant living in poverty and where large soybean and livestock farms are located. The PPE is credited with fifty deaths, as well as economic abductions, burning agricultural farms, machinery and extortion. The number of its members is estimated at about 30, which would have a support network between part of the population where the group operates. The FTC, the elite corps created to combat the guerrillas, is criticized for the lack of results in that fight, for which it has an annual budget of $14 million. 

Original source in Spanish

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