Paraguayan Police Kill Rebel Leader In Shootout

By Dialogo
July 30, 2010



Paraguayan police shot dead a leader of an armed leftist group blamed for
murders and kidnappings during a gun battle in a border region on Wednesday, the
Interior Ministry said.

Left-leaning President Fernando Lugo has been under pressure to track down
key figures in the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP), a
small armed group trained by Colombian rebels and active in marijuana-growing
regions in the north.

EPP leader Severiano Martinez, who was one of the
country’s most wanted fugitives, was tracked down by police in a part of the
inhospitable Chaco region that borders Bolivia.

“They told us he’d been located, they gave him a warning and he
responded by firing at the officers, which in turn led to an exchange of
fire,” Interior Minister Rafael Filizzola told a news conference.

Filizzola said five arrest warrants had been issued for Martinez, who was
accused of kidnapping and killing the daughter of former President Raul Cubas in
2004.

President Lugo dispatched extra police and troops earlier this year to areas
bordering Brazil and Bolivia to track down members of the group, who are believed to
number about 100.



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