EspañolOn Tuesday, March 24, police found the bodies of three workers at a ranch in Paraguay’s northeastern San Pedro department, apparently killed by members of Marxist guerrilla group the Paraguayan Army of the People.
Prosecutor Carlomagno Alvarenga told press on Tuesday that ranch manager Eladio Pavón Acosta, 38, and farm workers Edilson Ramón Aguilar (27) and Cipriano Julián López Cristaldo (48), were first reported missing by local workers, who noticed two motorbikes and a tractor on fire at the rural property.
The Alegría ranch, owned by German nationals, is located in the township of Tacuatí, between the departments of San Pedro and Concepción. Both regions are considered to be strongholds for the EPP, a seven-year guerrilla insurgency estimated to have no more than a few dozen members.
Next to the victims’ bodies the police found a pamphlet signed by the EPP forbidding farmers from cultivating “soy, corn, and other products that require pesticides” or from arming themselves.
Prosecutor Joel Cazal nevertheless noted that the murdered personnel had not used chemicals and had no weapons. “They complied with everything the pamphlet stated. They’re devoted to livestock farming,” he said.
Paraguay is experiencing a “massive wave of executions,” Cazal added.
Interior Minister Francisco de Vargas described the murder as a “cowardly criminal act,” and said that the pamphlet is the same as those left at the site of previous attacks.
“They resort to the class struggle [argument] but they end up murdering Paraguayan workers,” Vargas told a local radio station.
Earlier this year, EPP elements killed German nationals Robert Natto and Érika Reiser, having kidnapped the married couple and subsequently being surrounded by police.
According to government officials the EPP has killed 39 people since its creation in 2008.