Traducción en inglés del análisis titulado, El Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo (EPP), ¿qué se puede aprender de ellos?, publicado en la Revista Ajajema N° 1.
The EPP is an armed organization from Paraguay, officially born in 2008 ( altough can be said that according to some analysts, they began their activities in 1997, from a hard-core group detached from the Partido Patria Libre) the areas where they have presence are in the departments of Concepción, San Pedro and Amambay, that is, the northeastern part of the country.
Its political structures are Marxist-Leninist, but its action closely resembles that employed by the Uruguayans and Argentineans anarchist robbers, active in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
In many active armed organizations (such as this) or inactive throughout history, we can learn some interesting things, always far away from the moral values that establish that, because these organizations have an ideological scaffold outside our own, we must ignore them, we do not respond to any moral impulse. Eco-extremists and nihilist terrorists are not anti-authoritarian anarchists, we are not anti-fascists to refuse the information left by these armed groups, it is clear that we do not share their doctrines, but not sharing them does not mean that we neglect the lessons they have left, this to follow our way in criminality satisfaying our Egoist goals.
Valuable things can be learned from both the left-wing and right-wing armed groups, and we have no moral problem admitting it, since more than once we have vindicated ourselves with a marked tendency to anti-political and anti-ideological.
Robberies and kindnapping
As the anarchists bandits did, the EPP claims their robberies in both direct and indirect way, that is, their modus operandi characterizes them and also, in some cases, they also claim resposability for some kidnappings.
To remember their robberies, we must go back to 1997 when they assault a bank in Chore, San Pedro, altough the robbery attempt fail, with the pass of the time they became better in their robberies or “expropiations” as they called it.
Among the most striking kidnappings, is the livestock and logger Alberto Lindstron in July 2008, exchanged for 130 thousand dollars. The EPP released the logger after payment of what was demanded, but threatened him with death if he continued with his practices, Lindstron ignored the threat, until in May 2013 the group murdered him.
The same fate had Cecilia Cubas, daughter of former president Raul Cubas, kidnapped in the midst of a terrible shooting in 2004 and found dead in 2005, a case that shook the entire Paraguayan population.
Other striking cases were the kidnappings of the cattleman Fidel Zavala in 2009 and Arlan Fick, son of a wealthy landowner in 2014, which had a great media impact, and consequently popular support or contempt did not wait, despite the “Notoriety” of the EPP in the media as criminals (rather than “revolutionaries”), all this allowed the group’s penetration in the collective mind of Paraguayan society, in its “fame” among the masses, and also contributed to the group gaining important political and military relevance in the country.
The EPP initial strategy of first making money, to buy weapons, vehicles, houses and, in general, war logistics, rather than start with political-military operations, is highly intelligent, and reminds us of terrorist organizations like “Al Qaeda from the Islamic Magreb (Led by the fiery Mokhtak Belmokhtar) who used (and continues to use) the kidnapping of Europeans and Americans in order to self-finance and to give continuity to their war against the West.
Organization and discretion
The organization of the EPP is similar to the so-called “informality” of the insurrectionist anarchists, although it is not the same, of course. The EPP cells are very small groups of few guerrillas who keep their composure very well, do not attract attention and are quite distrustful. Their different cells are not known to each other, so the delation and infiltration among their members is a practically isolated case. The cells follow orders that are given through the public communiques of the organization.
Although it is known that the members of the EPP reach the 500 militants, in their relatively short history, it is worth to say that they had few political prisoners, although some of the prisoners of the EPP were detained for their political past in the Partido Patria Libre, and part of them, have been imprisoned after clashes with the police or the army, a clear example of which occurred in April 2010 in the department of Alto Paraguay (extreme north of the country), when an EPP guerrilla faced in a firefight a police officer who tried to frisk him, the guerrilla managed to escape wounded and tried to hide in the jungle, the confrontation led to a furtive hunt by the authorities against members of the EPP in the wild lands of the mountains of the Paraguayan Chaco.
Apparently, some cells of the EPP alert each other of this event and new clashes broke out that same month, but in the department of Concepcion, where a total of four policemen were reported dead.
In July of that year, the wanted guerrilla, named Severiano Martínez, injured and with an infection in the brain after the shooting against the police in April, was found by police and was shot down, not without first unloading his 9mm gun against them. As a result of this, on discovering the identity of the guerrilla, the police began to investigate their close circle, searched their house and found information on other EPP leaders on their computer, so, by September of that year, two senior members of the armed group would end up being murdered, others had to go underground and their faces were exposed in all media, whether or not they had to do with the organization, the issue for the government was to make everyone believe that they “really” send EPP members to the prison, and not to be ridiculous before the media.
Although the EPP suffered the aforementioned blow, it appears that the security and double life they do is so high that the controversial Wikileaks group leaked information that the Paraguayan government in 2010 had asked the major US intelligence agencies for permission to use high-quality technology to spy on drug trafficking phones (which was actually to try to spy on the EPP), which, until today have not had any result derived from government espionage.
In September 2011, just one year after the authorities celebrated the death of those EPP leaders and ordered the capture of others, the group surprised with a surprise attack on a police station, where two policemen were killed, one of them killed with more than 10 bullets in their body, proving that the EPP was still active.
Nowadays, has been attributed to the EPP more than 60 direct deaths among military, police, businessmen and civilians, most of them executed for continuing to plant Monsanto’s soybean and corn and the use of its harmful agrochemicals, which were prohibited by the group in the areas where it has presence.
The last military action of the armed group was at the end of August of 2016, when they detonated an explosive against a military vehicle, and they kill off the wounded soldiers, leaving 8 of them dead, reason why the alarms of the government went on, promising to find those responsible, but so far until now there is no information of any arrest.
From the history of the EPP several lessons can be learn by the eco-extremists and nihilist terrorists who want to take them.
1 a) It is highly recommended to be cautious, have a closed group and act only with them or alone, do not waste the time to “invite” or “recruit” others who you dont know into your close circle, the EPP is an example of discretion , because not even with the surveillance programs of the FBI have been able to dismantle the organization.
2 b) The number of members of a group does not matter if the attacks they make are direct and accurate, the EPP teaches that it is not necessary to have an entire “army” (although they are self-defined as such), or have a large number of armed men, murdering a person always captures the media attention and depending on the objective, can create a local controversy (such as the employee of the UNAM chemistry faculty killed by ITS in June 2016), or international (such as the biotechnology expert Killed by ITS in November 2011), a murder can be committed by a person with a simple knife, it is not necessary a large armament or a large number of combatants.
3 c) It is not recommended to store information from other groups that the police can find, if you have this type of information, in case you are arrested and the police search your house, you can get relate to them and they can find and arrest more members of your same or different group. In other words, DO NOT make the same mistake as Severiano Martínez.
4 d) It is recommended to have a source of money to finance attacks, whether working or doing robberies, this depends on the conditions developed by the individualists interested in the war against civilization.