On September 9, 2020, armed men took Óscar Denis Sánchez away, who held the vice presidency of Paraguay between 2012 and 2013.
His vehicle was found near his home in the northeast of the country, with pamphlets of the paramilitary organization of Marxist ideology Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP).
A painful memory for his eldest daughter Beatriz Denis: “It’s been a year of the worst nightmare of our lives, the kidnapping of dad, and to date there is no progress, no information, no clue that can tell us where dad would be and how he would be. “
And adds: “Absolutely zero results from the government work, from the search. We get up every day with the hope that today is going to be the day, today we are going to know something about Dad, we are going to find him and the hours go by, the night comes and nothing comes back, and so on, but we do not lose the faith”.
“They didn’t just kidnap dad, they kidnapped the family, because we can’t go out without fear, We are always in fear taking care of ourselves, we cannot even dispose of our assets because our accounts are all blocked by a law. We cannot say what we want because Dad is in the hands of an armed and capable criminal group that is doing something to him in retaliation, ”adds Beatriz Denis.
They have repeatedly asked the government of President Mario Abdo Benítez to help them. An estimated 100 men and women make up the EPP, which also has NCO Edelio Morínigo and rancher Félix Urbieta kidnapped.
“The I will continue to insist to the government to reinforce the work, the search, to ask for international help, not precisely to give this armed group a status, but within the humanitarian framework. We had established contacts with the international Red Cross, which would be willing to cooperate within the humanitarian framework, “she says.
“To date, the government has not given its approval. We insist that it ask for international help or cooperation in terms of technology, in terms of resources, in terms of intelligence, to join forces and be able to reach that result that we all want, that is that the three kidnapped can return to their homes “Oscar Denis’s daughter insists.
Beatriz Denis asks those who have kidnapped her father to contact the family who are willing to negotiate.
Denis was kidnapped together with an indigenous worker from his ranch who he was released a few days later.
The family claimed to have fulfilled the condition imposed by the EPP to free the retired politician: the distribution of food among peasant communities worth two million dollars.
The other demand was addressed to the Government: the release of two historical guerrilla prisoners, which the Executive ruled out as unfeasible.
Denis was vice president of the cabinet of President Federico Franco (of the Liberal Party), between 2012 and 2013, as well as governor of Concepción.
The EPP, founded in 2008 and to which the authorities attribute some 60 murders, Between police, military and civilians, it has its area of influence in the area between the departments of San Pedro and Concepción.
The group, who proclaims himself defender of the poor peasantry, is financed with extortion and the kidnapping of owners of agricultural and livestock farms.
Source: RFI and AFP