Biedermann claimed Colombian guerrillas had direct participation with the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) in the kidnapping of an important rancher. The EPP, a nationalist leftist guerrilla group in Paraguay, was formed in 2008 and is known for kidnapping wealthy nationals.
Paraguayan Intelligence organizations have believed for some time that the EPP has ties with the FARC, and that many were possibly even trained by some of the Colombian guerrillas. Biedermann said the most recent kidnapping showed similar tactics to those used by FARC rebels.
“The EPP has acted with an incredible violence, has killed many people, and has participated in many kidnappings, the last of which being an important rancher, Fidel Zavala, vicepresident of the rural association of Paraguay,” said Biedermann. Zavala was released in 2010 after being held captive for 94 days after. His family was forced to pay captors approximately $500,000.
The diplomat added that there was a strong collaboration between the two countries to stop connections between the rebel groups and that Colombian authorities have always cooperated in such matters. In this incident, they provided Paraguayan authorities with evidence that allegedly showed EPP members had received instructions from the FARC in regards to Zabala’s kidnapping.