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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ASUNCION182
2006-02-17 15:53:00
SECRET
Embassy Asuncion
Cable title:  

PARAGUAY: UPDATE ON LEFTIST PATRIA LIBRE ARRESTS

Tags:   PTER  PREL  PINR  PGOV  ASEC  SNAR  MARR  MASS  KCRM 
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VZCZCXYZ0072
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAC #0182/01 0481553
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 171553Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY ASUNCION
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3791
INFO RUCNMER/MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 0494
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0288
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0123
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEHNA/DEA HQS WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL//SCJ3/SCJ33/SCJ34/SOCSO LNO//
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0146
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC
						S E C R E T ASUNCION 000182 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR DS/IP/WHA AND DS/DSS/ITA
STATE PASS TO USAID LAC/AA
POSTS FOR RSO
NSC FOR SUE CRONIN
SOUTHCOM FOR POLAD BARBARA MOORE
NAIROBI FOR MICHAEL FITZPATRICK

E.O. 12958: DNG: CO OADR
TAGS: PTER PREL PINR PGOV ASEC SNAR MARR MASS KCRM
PA, CO, VE, CU
SUBJECT: PARAGUAY: UPDATE ON LEFTIST PATRIA LIBRE ARRESTS
IN CONCEPCION

REF: A. ASUNCION 000157

B. ASUNCION 000149

C. 05 ASUNCION 000403

Classified By: PolOff Susan S. Sutter, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. SUMMARY: (S//NF) Police officials transferred the six
members of the leftist Patria Libre Party, who were arrested
on February 5 in connection to the recent seizure of a truck
containing weapons and explosives, to Emboscada High Security
Prison. Separately, they discovered letters declaring the
groups' intentions to take over power in Paraguay. Two of
the members admitted to receiving guerrilla-type training in
Cuba, Venezuela, and by FARC members in Colombia. Sensitive
reporting indicates Colombia's Ambassador to Paraguay does
not agree with GOP reports of the FARC ties to the PPL, and
as a result he met with Attorney General Candia to seek
evidence of their training of PPL members. Paraguay's
sustained state presence in the remote area of Concepcion
Department, where leftist PPL members are located, is limited
and has hampered investigations, leaving military and police
to rely on press reporting. END SUMMARY.



2. (U) Paraguayan press reported on February 15 that
authorities transferred the six members of the leftist Patria
Libre Party (PPL) to the Emboscada High Security Prison via
an Air Force plane. Paraguayan officials had arrested the
group on February 5 for transporting explosives and
connections to a gang of kidnappers associated with the Cubas
kidnapping (ref A). A related article in Ultima Hora reports
that police and prosecutors discovered several letters
declaring the PPL,s objectives to "eliminate our political
enemies and to take over power" of the government. The
letters were written by Maria Villaba, sister of Carmen
Villaba who is convicted in the kidnapping of Maria Edith
Dibernadi.



3. (S//NF) Sensitive reporting indicates two females of the
six PPL members arrested have admitted they are part of a
group that was providing guerrilla-type training in
Paraguay's interior. In addition, the females claim
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) members
provided them with training in Colombia, in addition to
training they received in Cuba and Venezuela. Sensitive
reporting from another source identified the two women as
trained snipers. Press reporting that quotes a police source
indicates additional PPL members, responsible for the murder
of a policeman on February 6, (ref B) have escaped Paraguay
and have sought refuge in the Mato Grosso do Sul state in
Brazil. The press source suggests the group split into two
platoons and may be moving at night to evade police and
military officials.



4. (S//NF) On February 16, Colombia,s Ambassador to
Paraguay Bernal met with Attorney General Candia to discuss
the situation in Concepcion and verify physical evidence of
the PPL,s ties to the FARC. Bernal has rebuffed the GOP,s
assertions of the FARC,s connections to PPL in the past and
evidence that placed FARC elements in Paraguay. Sensitive
reporting indicates Bernal went to the Attorney General's
office to view evidence, such as travel documents, of the
training conducted in Cuba, Venezuela, and Colombia.
Additional reporting from the same source suggests Colombia's
Vice-President Santos is planning to visit Paraguay on March
2 to sign another bilateral agreement with Paraguay on
security cooperation including anti-kidnapping tactics. The
two countries signed a similar agreement in March 2005 (ref
C). (COMMENT: Bernal and Candia have not established the
kind of rapport that existed between Colombia and Candia's
predecessor Oscar Latorre. Candia is resentful that the
Colombians continue to look to Latorre in his capacity as the
President's National Security Advisor as a key interlocutor.
Meanwhile, Colombia's poloff has complained that Candia has
not displayed much interest in deepening Colombian-Paraguayan

security relations to date. Ambassador Bernal has long sought
to dismiss or downplay a FARC role, worried about damage to
Colombia's reputation and "demonizing" innocent Colombians.
We see evidence that the GOC and his own assistant here don't
respect him. END COMMENT.)



5. (C//NF) COMMENT: The lack of any sustained state
presence in this remote area of Concepcion Department has
severely hampered investigations. In principle, the military
supports the Paraguayan National Police (PNP), which has the
primary responsibility for conducting the investigation under
supervision of prosecutors. Contacts within military
intelligence and military planning rely heavily on the press
for its own informational and operational purposes.
Separately, a contact with the anti-kidnapping unit of the
Public Ministry described this search for PPL members in
Concepcion as completely disorganized and admitted there was
little cooperation between the police, military, and
prosecutors. While many questions regarding the size of this
group and the particulars of its strategy to subvert the
government remain unanswered, this recent case reinforces
past evidence of FARC involvement in providing assistance.
END COMMENT.

CASON