Why a Tiny Guerrilla Group Has Paraguay’s Government on the Ropes

Paraguayan army soldiers patrol an area where two German citizens were killed by the Paraguayan People’s Army after they were kidnapped, in Yby Yau, Paraguay, Jan. 29, 2015 (AP photo by Enrique Zarza).
Paraguayan army soldiers patrol an area where two German citizens were killed by the Paraguayan People’s Army after they were kidnapped, in Yby Yau, Paraguay, Jan. 29, 2015 (AP photo by Enrique Zarza).

On Sept. 2, Paraguay’s conservative president, Mario Abdo Benitez, cleared his schedule to fly north to a forest on the edge of a ranch in the province of Concepcion. There, around 220 miles from the capital, Asuncion, he posed for photographs—a handgun visible at his side—in a camp belonging to the Paraguayan People’s Army, or EPP, an armed group with barely 50 members. A combined military-police task force, known as the FTC, had just concluded a “successful operation,” Abdo Benitez posted on Twitter. Soldiers had shot dead two EPP fighters, he announced, and were closing in on the others, who […]

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