Four members of the Paraguayan guerrilla group the Armed Campesino Association were killed Monday during clashes with police and soldiers.
Interior Minister Francisco de Vargas said Tuesday at a press conference, "The heads of the group were killed, and also weapons and camouflage uniforms were seized. It has been the most successful strike in our campaign against guerrillas operating this area."
Events took place in the area of Concepcion, about 300 miles north of capital Asuncion. Police said that among the rebels killed was alleged ACA founder Alfredo Jara Larrea.
The ACA is considered a splinter group from the Paraguayan People’s Army, or EPP. The Government says the founders of the ACA are former members of the EPP, which was formally founded in 2008.
Alfredo Jara Larrea (R) leader of the armed group called the Armed Campesino Association and his brother Albino in a recent picture taken in the region of Concepcion. | Photo: Twitter
Authorities say the insurgents have killed more than 50 people since 2008, and that they carried out several kidnappings.
The ACA is currently holding police sergeant Edelio Morinigo and Mennonite settler Abraham Fehr, who were captured recently.
The northern region of Paraguay, known for its ranching industry, has been populated by armed guerrillas over the past 20 years. Although the current right-wing government of Horacio Cartes has tried to link these rebels to the left-wing Guasu Front, there is no evidence linking the two.
The leader of the Guasu Front, Fernando Lugo, who was a former president ousted by a parliamentary coup in 2012, has said the accusations against his political organization are aimed at damaging the image of the left-wing in the South American country, where almost 70 percent of Paraguayans disapprove the policies implemented by Cartes.