Joint Task Force Murders Two Children, Paraguayan People’s Army Retaliates

By Ed Dalton

Marria Carmen Villalba, 11, and Lillian Mariana Villalba, 12, were killed at a birthday celebration in Yby Yaú, Paraguay by a joint task force of the Paraguayan Army and State Police in an attack against the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) on September 3. One of the children was the daughter of a lawyer who had defended accused EPP guerrillas in the past.

The joint task force was formed to fight the EPP, who has been waging an armed struggle against the state from its base among the indigenous people since 2008. According to the Center for Peoples Solidarity Brazil (Cebraspo), the Army ordered the girls be buried in a secret grave in an attempt to conceal the evidence, which also serves the purpose of preventing the local people from creating memorials for the girls and against the state. Their killers also staged photos of the girls’ bodies dressed in military uniforms that were distributed to the press.

The murder of the two young girls was at first proclaimed a “great success” by the joint task force of the old Paraguayan state. Paraguayan President Mário Abdo Benítez praised the work of the team when visiting the site of the murder, posing with a gun before his government attempted to lie about the girls’ age, claiming they were 18 and 19.

Relatives of the young girls have demanded the state return their bodies so that funerals can be held.

On Monday, in response to the vile murder of the two children, the Indigenous Brigade of the EPP retaliated by abducting Paraguay’s former Vice President and a hated landlord, Oscar Denis, on his farm. The reactionary old state described the guerrillas as “having indigenous features” and stating that they were “barefoot and wearing camouflage.” 

The guerrilla fighters left pamphlets behind explaining and taking credit for the action, stating that, “May all the mistreatment, abuse and injustice suffered by indigenous communities, whether by bosses, administrators, overseers or executioners, Brazilian soy landowners and Mennonites who poison them and evict them from their land, not go unpunished. The Indigenous Brigade will apply revolutionary justice. Long live the struggle of the poor!”

For the release of Denis, the EPP has demanded a large ransom to be paid to the people in food and supplies, as well as the release of political prisoners and prisoners of war. While Denis is still in custody, his family has begun to distribute food among the rural population in bags labeled ‘courtesy of the EPP’.

Solidarity protests were held on September 8 in Argentina. Numerous demonstrators carried signs and banners repudiating the cowardly murder of the girls by the Old State, and graffiti reading “long live the EPP” was painted on walls in Spanish.

During the solidarity protest, the people attacked the Paraguayan Embassy in Buenos Aires which was protected by riot police and a large fence. The ruling class-owned Paraguayan newspaper reported that all the protesters were Argentinian and belonged to left wing groups who are combative against the state, claiming that, “According to the diplomat the mobilizations were quite violent, some even threw stones at the premises.”

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