Country Risk

Killing of anti-kidnapping officer indicates increased risk to ranchers in northern Paraguay

06 February 2019


Criminals shot dead the deputy head of Paraguay’s anti-kidnapping unit, Rufino Acosta Gill, on 24 January during a police operation to investigate the kidnapping for ransom of agricultural businessman Silvino Villalba. Businessman Villalba had been kidnapped for several hours on 22 January in Zanja Pyta, Amambay department, on the Brazilian border.

The kidnappers had pretended to be members of the Paraguayan People’s Army (Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo: EPP) guerrilla group. According to the commander of the Joint Task Force (Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta: FTC), Hector Grau, over the past year, there have been various cases of kidnappings for ransom of cattle ranchers, particularly in Juan Pedro Caballero (Amambay), in which the perpetrators claim to be EPP members.

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