Oscar Denis was captured by the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) in the Concepción area. The government expands the military deployment.
Former Vice President of Paraguay Oscar Denis, 74, fulfilled a week on Wednesday kidnapped by the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) guerrilla, which made it a condition for his freedom that his family distribute food worth $ 2 million to peasant communities in the north of the country.
Together with Denis, the EPP took a worker from his cattle farm, Adelio Mendoza, a 21-year-old indigenous man who was released on Monday and returned on foot to that place, in the vicinity where the kidnapping took place, between the departments of Amambay and Concepción.
Denis’s release is pending now for the family to comply with the demands that the EPP sent them in a statement on Friday: the distribution of food to 40 rural settlements, which they began to do this Sunday, and with a deadline until now. Thursday.
In the same statement, the EPP demanded the release of Carmen Villalba and Alcides Oviedo, considered historical leaders of that guerrilla and who are serving long prison sentences, to which the Paraguayan government did not respond.
Denis’s family continues to ask the EPP for proof of his father’s life, since the paper with his signature that was on the bag where that statement was found is not enough. And he assures that he is complying with the demands of the captors.
“We continue to deliver the kits (of food), we are complying. Through you I want to emphasize once again that you open that communication channel to be able to dialogue with them, negotiate and send proof of life,” said the politician’s daughter on radio Monumental AM.
Also, the family on Monday asked the security forces to stay away from the area where they deposited the medications for his father, who suffers from hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
That is also a demand from the EPP, which demanded that the area be cleared in order to collect those drugs and at the same time establish a safe zone to free Mendoza, who would not have been the target of the kidnapping.
Mendoza assured the family that during the time of captivity he was with Denis, but that he could only hear him speak to the kidnappers, since he was blindfolded.
Despite family requests, the Paraguayan government announced on Tuesday the expansion of military deployment in that part of the north of the country to enhance the search.
Some 350 more personnel from the National Police, 434 from the Armed Forces, in addition to two armored vehicles, a helicopter, 12 trucks, 19 vans and two minibuses, were sent to reinforce the search carried out by the Joint Task Force (FTC), the institution in charge of fighting the guerrillas, reported the Interior Ministry.
Shortly after Denis’ kidnapping, the Interior Minister, Euclides Acevedo, told the media from Concepción that the event had “a great political connotation”, as he was the largest public figure in the power of the EPP, although he was retired and dedicated to your livestock business.
In addition to being vice president of Paraguay between 2012 and 2013 -during the mandate of Federico Franco-, Denis was governor of Concepción, senator, deputy and head of the Liberal Party, the largest of the opposition.
The kidnapping came a week after a questionable operation between the Joint Task Force (JTF), a mixed group of police and military, and the EPP, in which two eleven-year-old girls died.
The confrontation, described at first as “successful” by the Executive, was highly criticized by the main opposition groups when the age of the girls, with Argentine nationality and alleged daughters of the guerrilla leaders, was confirmed, according to the government.
The EPP was founded in 2008, according to analysts under Marxist postulates and following the model of the Colombian FARC.