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  HOME | Latin America (Click here for more)

Kidnapped Paraguayan Police Officer’s Family Demands Answers from Government

ASUNCION – Relatives of a police officer kidnapped by the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) in 2014 are demanding answers from the National Police about his condition.

Obdulia Florenciano, the mother of officer Edelio Morinigo, told reporters after meeting with National Police commanders on Wednesday that she was assured her son was still alive.

“The reports they (National Police commanders) have say that my son is alive, but I only half believe what they tell us because there’s no proof of life and nothing guarantees that my son is alive and he’s the only one of all the captives that no proof of life whatsoever exists,” Florenciano said.

The National Police agreed to update the family regularly on developments in the search in northern Paraguay, where the Joint Task Force, the military unit fighting the EPP, operates, Florenciano said.

“The agreement is that the commander himself, also the deputy commander, will demand more from those working in the north and that way we’ll have more information about my son’s case,” Florenciano said.

Morinigo, who was abducted in July 2014 while hunting, is the longest-held captive in the EPP’s hands.

The EPP offered to exchange the police officer for political prisoners, but the government rejected the deal.

Morinigo was last seen along with Arlan Fick, a 17-year-old kidnapped by the rebels, in a video released by the EPP in October 2014.

Fick was released in December 2014 after spending nine months in captivity.

The EPP is also holding Mennonite farmers Abraham Ferh and Franz Wiebe.

The guerrillas abducted Ferh last year and are demanding $500,000 in ransom for his release, while the 17-year-old Wiebe was abducted in July 2016.

In mid-January, the EPP demanded that the Wiebe family provide $150,000 worth of food to the rural villages of Antebi Cue and Guahory.

The guerrilla group has still not released the Mennonite teenager.

The EPP has committed has killed about 50 people and kidnapped several others since its founding in 2008, officials said.

 

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