ASUNCION – Police killed one member of the shadowy EPP rebel group and wounded another in a confrontation in the northeastern province of Concepcion, Paraguay’s interior minister said Friday.
“The person killed was Nimio Cardozo,” Rafael Filizzola told a press conference in Asuncion, adding that police seized guns, grenades and $1,000 in cash from the small guerrilla camp in the hills near Hugua Ñandu.
Describing Cardozo as a leader of the EPP, the minister said the dead rebel had been sought in connection with several high-profile kidnappings dating back to 2001.
Police are pursuing as many as 10 other EPP fighters who fled when they were surprised by the cops thanks to “serious and sustained intelligence work,” Filizzola said.
Cardozo’s death comes three weeks after police killed reputed EPP commander Gabriel Zarate Cardozo at a hideout in the town of Sidepar, near the boundary between the provinces of San Pedro and Caaguazu.
The self-styled Army of the Paraguayan People, or EPP, is blamed for a spate of killings and kidnappings in the northeastern part of the country.
The EPP, which arose as a splinter group of the small leftist PPL party, is thought to have carried out the abductions of two wealthy cattle ranchers in the area along the border with Brazil.
Authorities also accuse the group of the kidnapping and murder of the daughter of former President Raul Cubas.
Cecilia Cubas was found dead outside Asuncion in February 2005 after her family paid a ransom of roughly $300,000. EFE