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“It is unacceptable that the circumstances of such brutal cases remain unclear. We urge the Paraguayan authorities to conduct a prompt, independent and effective investigation into the many unanswered questions surrounding these cases,” said Sauca.

Carmen Elizabeth Oviedo Villalba, a 14-year-old Paraguayan citizen, has been missing since the beginning of December 2020, but her disappearance was only recently reported.

The WCC joined United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in calling on Paraguayan authorities to search urgently for the missing girl.

Two 11-year-old girls—both Argentine citizens—were allegedly killed during an operation carried out five months ago by the Paraguayan Joint Task Force against members of the Army of the Paraguayan People, in the Yby Yaú area.

Rev. Leonardo Schindler, president of the Evangelical Church of the River Plate, condemned the actions of groups that, operating outside the law, become organizations that generate violence and crime.

“Situations of exclusion, lack of land and opportunities for a dignified life are not resolved by means of arms,” he said. “We affirm that it is an inalienable obligation of the State to protect the population, especially the weakest, making full use of the instruments provided by the law and never outside of it, adjusting to the norms with criteria of transparency, proportionality and justice.”