Paraguay’s FTC Protects Children and Teens from the Terrorist Group EPP

Paraguay’s FTC Protects Children and Teens from the Terrorist Group EPP

By Dialogo
November 25, 2014




Paraguay’s Joint Task Force (FTC) is working to prevent the terrorist Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) and the Armed Peasant Association (ACA) from recruiting children and adolescents.

“When we had a confrontation with them, we found adolescents as young as 15,” said Lt. Col. Victor Urdapilleta, FTC chief of communications, speaking about a September 19 gun battle with the EPP. During that conflict, which occurred in Arroyito – about 400 km north of Asunción – FTC forces killed four EPP members. They were identified as Hugo Daniel Martínez, 23; Eduardo Florenciano Vega, 21; Marco Ramón Ojeda Jiménez, 20; and Andrés Fernandez López, 15.

The FTC also captured a 16-year-old suspect. In the aftermath of that battle, civil organizations have criticized the EPP and the ACA for putting young people in dangerous situations by using them in armed confrontations with security forces.

“We condemn the criminal acts perpetrated both by the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) and the Armed Peasant Association (ACA), as well as other persons and/or groups that commit criminal acts,” the Peace and Justice Service (Serpaj) and the

Office of the Coordinator for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (CDIA) stated in a September 25 press release.

Security forces try to protect minors


The FTC does all it can to minimize casualties among young members of the EPP and the ACA.

As part of that effort, the Prosecutor’s Office -- which is part of the interdisciplinary group that comprises the FTC -- has issued search and arrest warrants that include guidance advising security forces to avoid or minimize, if possible, casualties among minors.

The FTC conducts patrols, inspects vehicles for weapons, and engages in security missions in forests where the EPP and the ACA are believed to be hiding. While the FTC confronts the EPP and ACA, the Paraguayan Armed Forces offer free medical treatment, deliveries of medicine, and other services to communities in the northern region of the country.

In addition to these efforts, the FTC discourages young people from joining the EPP and the ACA. Some parents disregard their responsibilities to protect their children because of economic desperation. Many of the children and young people who join the EPP and the ACA were provided to the two groups by their parents, in exchange for monthly financial support.

“Regarding our actions to prevent child recruitment, we broadcast messages through the local media warning the parents of children about that danger, reminding them of the obligations that the law imposes on parents to safeguard and care for their children,” Urdapilleta said.



Paraguay’s Joint Task Force (FTC) is working to prevent the terrorist Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) and the Armed Peasant Association (ACA) from recruiting children and adolescents.

“When we had a confrontation with them, we found adolescents as young as 15,” said Lt. Col. Victor Urdapilleta, FTC chief of communications, speaking about a September 19 gun battle with the EPP. During that conflict, which occurred in Arroyito – about 400 km north of Asunción – FTC forces killed four EPP members. They were identified as Hugo Daniel Martínez, 23; Eduardo Florenciano Vega, 21; Marco Ramón Ojeda Jiménez, 20; and Andrés Fernandez López, 15.

The FTC also captured a 16-year-old suspect. In the aftermath of that battle, civil organizations have criticized the EPP and the ACA for putting young people in dangerous situations by using them in armed confrontations with security forces.

“We condemn the criminal acts perpetrated both by the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) and the Armed Peasant Association (ACA), as well as other persons and/or groups that commit criminal acts,” the Peace and Justice Service (Serpaj) and the

Office of the Coordinator for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (CDIA) stated in a September 25 press release.

Security forces try to protect minors


The FTC does all it can to minimize casualties among young members of the EPP and the ACA.

As part of that effort, the Prosecutor’s Office -- which is part of the interdisciplinary group that comprises the FTC -- has issued search and arrest warrants that include guidance advising security forces to avoid or minimize, if possible, casualties among minors.

The FTC conducts patrols, inspects vehicles for weapons, and engages in security missions in forests where the EPP and the ACA are believed to be hiding. While the FTC confronts the EPP and ACA, the Paraguayan Armed Forces offer free medical treatment, deliveries of medicine, and other services to communities in the northern region of the country.

In addition to these efforts, the FTC discourages young people from joining the EPP and the ACA. Some parents disregard their responsibilities to protect their children because of economic desperation. Many of the children and young people who join the EPP and the ACA were provided to the two groups by their parents, in exchange for monthly financial support.

“Regarding our actions to prevent child recruitment, we broadcast messages through the local media warning the parents of children about that danger, reminding them of the obligations that the law imposes on parents to safeguard and care for their children,” Urdapilleta said.
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