Paraguayan Media Threatened After Bombing at TV Station

ASUNCION – A letter threatening attacks on the news media appeared here Thursday, one day after a bomb went off at a television station in the Paraguayan capital.

Found taped to a car in downtown Asuncion, the message said the media “are now a military objective” because they applaud and encourage the killing of rebels by the security forces.

The letter purports to come from a shadowy guerrilla group that calls itself the Army of the Paraguayan People, or EPP,

“We have been respectful with the communications media and the journalists and they have responded with the intransigent defense of the criminals, inciting them to spill more and more revolutionary blood, congratulating them afterward on their crimes, helping them carry forward their evil plans,” the message said.

“The elements of the slave press of the capital, which call themselves a free press, will receive well-earned punishment,” the text continues.

The message appeared a day after a bomb detonated at TV Cerro Cora, located on Carlos Antonio Lopez square in central Asuncion.

No one was hurt in the pre-dawn explosion.

A Colombian national detained in the square a few after the blast was released due to lack of evidence, but remains a suspect, Paraguayan police said earlier Thursday.

German Rodriguez, 49, was freed after being questioned by prosecutor Gilvi Quiñonez.

Rodriguez, who was granted refugee status in Paraguay a year ago, told reporters he had nothing to do with the bombing and said he supports himself as a day laborer.

The bomb, which left a hole in one of the station’s walls, was apparently intended to topple the station’s broadcasting antenna, according to police.

Authorities evacuated the square shortly after midday to carry out the controlled detonation of another explosive device discovered in the area.

Officials quickly pointed to the EPP as the possible perpetrator of Wednesday’s attack.

The EPP, which emerged in 2008, is blamed for a series of kidnappings and killings in the jungles of northeastern Paraguay, where four of the group’s commanders were killed by security forces last year. EFE

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