Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo Sends 1,000 Troops and Police To Suppress Rebel Group
April 27, 2010 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo sent an additional 1,000 troops and police Monday to the country’s borders with Brazil and Bolivia to track down an armed left-wing guerrilla group.
The country’s congress granted the Lugo administration special powers to hunt down the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP), a group linked to Colombia’s FARC guerrillas and who are blamed for an attack that killed four people last week.
“The concrete objective is to allow the military to undertake armed operations, which wouldn’t be possible without (the special powers),” Lugo said, according to Reuters.
The constitutional order from the Paraguayan Congress declared a 30-day emergency for a five-state region where the EPP is suspected to operate and allows Lugo to order arrests and the transfer of suspects without court approval.
Earlier this year Paraguayan soldiers were deployed to this region to aid local police forces in combating the EPP, who are also allegedly involved with marijuana cultivation in Paraguay.
The EPP, which is suspected to have about 100 members, traces its origins to trainee priests in 1992. The group advocates for socialist revolution.
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Image: Fernando Lugo APC @ Flickr.