Paraguay Rebel Group Threatens Alleged Police Snitches

ASUNCION – Paraguay’s shadowy EPP rebel group has issued death threats against four people it describes as police informants, media outlets said Monday.

In an e-mail sent to Radio Ñanduti in Asuncion, the EPP also confirmed the death of one of its leaders, Nimio Cardozo, in a clash with police in the northeastern province of Concepcion.

“With deep sadness we inform the Paraguayan people that on Sept. 24 our heroic and brave Comandante Anibal (Cardozo’s nom de guerre) fell in combat, a model of struggle and commitment who was executed by the murderous and cowardly bullets of the government,” the EPP message said.

The note went on to say that four men – Armando Arrua, Bernardo Coronel, Julio Valiente Cañete and Juan Carlos Wider – betrayed EPP fighters to the authorities “for dirty money.”

“For that reason, they have become military objectives and it is the obligation of every combatant to execute them, whatever the circumstances,” the EPP said.

Cardozo’s death came three weeks after police killed reputed EPP commander Gabriel Zarate 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

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