Paraguay: Minister “corrupted” for allowing rebel’s coffin to enter prison

Paraguay: Minister “corrupted” for allowing rebel’s coffin to enter prison

In order for his imprisoned sister to say goodbye to the deceased for the last time.

Paraguay’s conservative president, Mario Abdo Benitez, fired his justice minister on Tuesday for allowing the coffin of a rebel leader killed on Sunday to be brought into prison so his imprisoned sister could say her last goodbyes. deceased.

“The Minister of Justice (S.E. Edgar Taboada) and the Director of Buen Pastor Prison were relieved of their duties. This is a solid decision on the part of the president,” the head of government, Hernan Utman, told the press.

The coffin containing the body of Osvaldo Villalba, a leader of a rebel organization killed on Sunday in northern Paraguay, was taken by his relatives to the women’s prison where his sister is being held.

The coffin “arrived unexpectedly”, Mr Taboada explained, hours before he was put out of government.

He added that the body of the leader of the EPP (Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo, “Paraguayan People’s Army”) had already been placed in a vaulted grave at La Recoleta cemetery before relatives took it and took it to prison.

Guarded by several dozen riot police, heavily armed, the body was taken away for his sister, Carmen Villalba, to view for five minutes.

Ms Villalba, 50, is a founding member of the EPP; she has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for the 2004 kidnapping and murder of the daughter of former president Raul Kubas.

The justice minister said he decided to approve the entry of the body into the prison for “humanitarian reasons”, recalling that in 2010, the body of the inmate’s son had also been taken to the prison before being buried.

It was an “act of submission to terrorism,” said Beatrice Dennis, daughter of former vice-president Oscar Dennis, who has been missing since his abduction by the EPP two years ago.

Osvaldo Daniel Villalba, or Commander Alexander, was killed along with two other members of the rebel group during a battle with the army in the northeastern part of the country, 500 kilometers from the capital Asuncion, authorities said.

The EPP is characterized by the Paraguayan authorities as a criminal organization with a small scope of action, counting from a few dozen to a hundred members.

It operates in the provinces of Concepción and Amabay (northeast), which are sparsely populated, border Brazil and are a hotbed of smuggling of various kinds, despite the increased presence of the armed forces.

Authorities attribute some 80 military, police and civilian deaths to the EPP over the past 14 years.


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